Is art conducive to good science? I think so. There is something about artistic expression which intuitively hooks into the process of scientific creativity.
At some crucial point, a scientist takes a leap of faith, with a hypothesis, that sets up a trajectory of experiments, data gathering and assumed risk. To my mind, this isn’t so different from the gamble that an artist takes in conceptualizing a piece.
One of the nice aspects of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study is the interplay between natural beauty, science and art. Today the forest outside my office window is denuded of leaves; the trees look, of course, like neuronal dendrites.
While inside our cellular imaging core, our researchers are imaging neuronal dendrites–real ones using confocal microscopy.
In the meantime, 20 km away in downtown DC, Krasnow PI Paul So’s Hamiltonian Gallery is an another example of how inspired physics (Paul is a professor in the Physics department here at Mason) and art can interplay off one another.