"The object of all good literature is to purge the soul of its petty troubles." ~ P.G. Wodehouse

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Arts and Science: Colliding and Integrating

For Christian liberal arts education, the integration of the academic disciplines is central to understanding the Creator and humanity's work as subcreators within the world. Last week, while listening to the BBC World Service (Oct 9), I heard an interview with Ariane Koek, the director of the arts program at CERN. Although CERN is the joint particle physics laboratory in Europe, they have a arts program called Arts@CERN and have begun a new internship for artists called Collide@CERN (also here).

The Arts@CERN website states: "The Arts and Particle Physics are inextricably linked: both are ways of us exploring our existence - what it is to be human and our place in the universe."

Here is another statement by the program director,“The arts touch the parts that science alone cannot reach, and vice versa,” said Ariane Koek, CERN's cultural specialist.“Collide@CERN gives CERN, artists and scientists the opportunity to engage in creative collisions that can occur when these two areas of human creativity and ingenuity come together.”

Both statements are also great articulations of what the liberal arts are about more generally. Science and the arts often seem farther apart, but religious studies and business might be argued by some to be just as far apart. Integrating the disciplines makes us more aware of our humanity, our community together, and the unity and diversity of the world which God has created.

See also the article by Ariane Koek.

I wish I had access to "Notes From the Universe: Particle Sounds" by Brian Foster and Vesna Petrestin Robert.

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