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The Poetry and Music of Science: Comparing Creativity in Science and Art

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What human qualities are needed to make scientific discoveries, and which to make great art? Many would point to 'imagination' and 'creativity' in the second case but not the first. This book challenges the assumption that doing science is in any sense less creative than art, music or fictional writing and poetry, and treads a historical and contemporary path through commo What human qualities are needed to make scientific discoveries, and which to make great art? Many would point to 'imagination' and 'creativity' in the second case but not the first. This book challenges the assumption that doing science is in any sense less creative than art, music or fictional writing and poetry, and treads a historical and contemporary path through common territories of the creative process. The methodological process called the 'scientific method' tells us how to test ideas when we have had them, but not how to arrive at hypotheses in the first place. Hearing the stories that scientists and artists tell about their projects reveals commonalities: the desire for a goal, the experience of frustration and failure, the incubation of the problem, moments of sudden insight, and the experience of the beautiful or sublime. Selected themes weave the practice of science and art together: visual thinking and metaphor, the transcendence of music and mathematics, the contemporary rise of the English novel and experimental science, and the role of aesthetics and desire in the creative process. Artists and scientists make salient comparisons: Defoe and Boyle; Emmerson and Humboldt, Monet and Einstein, Schumann and Hadamard. The book draws on medieval philosophy at many points as the product of the last age that spent time in inner contemplation of the mystery of how something is mentally brought out from nothing. Taking the phenomenon of the rainbow as an example, the principles of creativity within constraint point to the scientific imagination as a parallel of poetry.


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What human qualities are needed to make scientific discoveries, and which to make great art? Many would point to 'imagination' and 'creativity' in the second case but not the first. This book challenges the assumption that doing science is in any sense less creative than art, music or fictional writing and poetry, and treads a historical and contemporary path through commo What human qualities are needed to make scientific discoveries, and which to make great art? Many would point to 'imagination' and 'creativity' in the second case but not the first. This book challenges the assumption that doing science is in any sense less creative than art, music or fictional writing and poetry, and treads a historical and contemporary path through common territories of the creative process. The methodological process called the 'scientific method' tells us how to test ideas when we have had them, but not how to arrive at hypotheses in the first place. Hearing the stories that scientists and artists tell about their projects reveals commonalities: the desire for a goal, the experience of frustration and failure, the incubation of the problem, moments of sudden insight, and the experience of the beautiful or sublime. Selected themes weave the practice of science and art together: visual thinking and metaphor, the transcendence of music and mathematics, the contemporary rise of the English novel and experimental science, and the role of aesthetics and desire in the creative process. Artists and scientists make salient comparisons: Defoe and Boyle; Emmerson and Humboldt, Monet and Einstein, Schumann and Hadamard. The book draws on medieval philosophy at many points as the product of the last age that spent time in inner contemplation of the mystery of how something is mentally brought out from nothing. Taking the phenomenon of the rainbow as an example, the principles of creativity within constraint point to the scientific imagination as a parallel of poetry.

47 review for The Poetry and Music of Science: Comparing Creativity in Science and Art

  1. 5 out of 5

    Evie

    I might write a review at some point, not sure. This book (I've been reading it for a long time because I accidentally left it in Cambridge for half a year) is part of what's inspired a project of mine - I have no idea what form this project is going to take yet, but I'm really excited about it, so I'm extremely grateful for this book! Sorry this is all very vague, I should be asleep right now, will perhaps write something more coherent at a more normal time of day I might write a review at some point, not sure. This book (I've been reading it for a long time because I accidentally left it in Cambridge for half a year) is part of what's inspired a project of mine - I have no idea what form this project is going to take yet, but I'm really excited about it, so I'm extremely grateful for this book! Sorry this is all very vague, I should be asleep right now, will perhaps write something more coherent at a more normal time of day

  2. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    DNF

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hend Wanas

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cailey

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vikas

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nick Spencer

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brad Mack

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erin Jones

  11. 4 out of 5

    MaryLena Bleile

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rae Spencer

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    OUP link: https://global.oup.com/academic/produ... OUP link: https://global.oup.com/academic/produ...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pim

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marcela

  17. 4 out of 5

    WIlliam Goodin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jacqui

  19. 4 out of 5

    Luke Beasley

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Aedyn River

  21. 4 out of 5

    Martin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lin Ding

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carolina Matos

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zhang-He

  26. 5 out of 5

    Yates Buckley

  27. 4 out of 5

    Luisa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wietse

  29. 4 out of 5

    Windward

  30. 5 out of 5

    Démi

  31. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  32. 5 out of 5

    Luis R.d.

  33. 5 out of 5

    Tanis

  34. 5 out of 5

    Grace

  35. 4 out of 5

    Tatterdemalion

  36. 5 out of 5

    Corey Eubanks

  37. 4 out of 5

    H H

  38. 5 out of 5

    Eduard

  39. 5 out of 5

    Pt Books

  40. 5 out of 5

    Blaise

  41. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  42. 5 out of 5

    Hoda

  43. 5 out of 5

    Gillian Straine

  44. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  45. 4 out of 5

    Amaya

  46. 4 out of 5

    Steve Walker

  47. 4 out of 5

    Simon Griffiths

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