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William Blake, 1804: ‘What is the life of Man but Art & Science?’

Jeremy Bentham, 1825: ‘Correspondent... to every art, there is at least one branch of science; correspondent to every branch of science, there is at least one branch of art.’

Lyon Playfair, 1852: ‘As surely as darkness follows the setting of the sun, so surely will England recede as a manufacturing nation, unless her industrial population becomes more conversant with science than they are now.’

Charles Darwin, 1859: ‘Few would readily believe in the natural capacity and years of practice requisite to become even a skilful pigeon-fancier.  The same principles are followed by the horticulturalist...’

Herbert Spencer, Philosopher and Psychologist, 1861: ‘The truth is, that those who have never entered upon scientific pursuits are blind to most of the poetry by which they are surrounded.’

William Kingdom Clifford, 1872: ‘There are no scientific subjects.’

John H. Clarke, 1884: ‘Art always has preceded science, and always must,’ and ‘The medical practitioner is an artist first and last.’

Karl Pearson, 1892: ‘Our aesthetic judgement demands harmony between the representation and the represented, and in this sense science is often more artistic than modern art.’

S. H. Butcher, 1893: ‘To Greece, then, we owe the love of Science, the love of Art, the love of Freedom: not Science alone, Art alone, or Freedom alone, but these vitally correlated with one another and brought into organic union.’

William Osler, Physician, 1906: ‘To keep his mind sweet the modern scientific man should be saturated with the Bible and Plato, with Shakespeare and Milton; to see life through their eyes may enable him to strike a balance between the rational and the emotional, which is the most serious difficulty of the intellectual life.’

Sidney Colvin, 1910/1911: ‘Science consists in knowing, Art consists in doing.  What I must do in order to know, is Art subservient to Science: what I must know in order to do, is Science subservient to Art.’

Norman Robert Campbell, 1921: In its second form or aspect, science has nothing to do with practical life and cannot affect it, except in the most indirect manner, either for good or for ill.  Science of this form is a pure intellectual study.  It is akin to painting, sculpture, or literature rather than to the technical arts.’

John Macmurray, 1935: ‘ includes and uses science, and it is the master for whom science toils.’  [SERVICE]

F. W. Westaway, H. M. Inspector of Secondary Schools, 1942 : ‘The key to many of the world’s difficulties will be found when once we have more securely bridged the gulf between science and the humanities.’

Herbert Read, Art Critic, 1943: ‘Some synthesis which embraces both art and science is the final necessity.... The same need is often expressed by the word integration, the making whole of what is unhappily separated and disparate. But integration is not a mechanical process; it only takes place in a certain atmosphere, under certain pressure.’

J. D. Bernal, Crystallographer, 1946: ‘...a history of the relations between science and technology can no more be made by simple juxtaposition than can a treatise on Chinese metaphysics.’
      And again: Essentially, what we are aiming at in both arts and science is to reduce the amount of learning in order to be able to increase the range and depth of understanding. To the science courses, so cut down, we would want to add enough of the humanities, particularly history and philosophy, to understand the importance and significance of science in human culture; to the arts courses, a corresponding amount of basic science. At first this would be very difficult to do. The absolute gap of ignorance between these fields of learning is so great that there are very few competent either to teach humanities to science students or science to arts students.’
And again: ‘The fusion between the arts and sciences is... both desirable and possible. ... I would like to emphasise that it is also a vital necessity.’
      And again: ‘...the union of science and the humanities is for us a condition of survival.’

Ernst Robert Curtius, 1948: ‘Specialization without universalism is blind.   Universalism without specialization is inane.’

Erwin Schrödinger, Physicist, 1954: ‘We have inherited from our forefathers the keen longing for unified, all embracing knowledge... but on the other hand, it has become next to impossible for a single mind to command more than a small specialized portion of it. I can see no other escape from this dilemma... than that some of us should venture to embark on a synthesis of facts and theories, albeit with second-hand and incomplete knowledge of some of them – and at the risk of making fools of ourselves.’  From the cover of his book Nature and the Greeks (1954), quoting from the preface to his What is Life? (1944)

Paul Rand, designer, typographer, 1960: ‘The creative, the imaginative, even the aesthetic nature of science is now widely recognized.  If there is reassurance for both artist and scientist in the recognition of similarity, there is actual danger in the ignoring of it.’

J. K. Galbraith, Economist, 1967: ‘ modern industry a large number of decisions, and all that are important, draw on information possessed by more than one man. Typically they draw on the specialized scientific and technical knowledge, the accumulated information or experience and the artistic or intuitive sense of many persons.’  And again: ‘The inevitable counterpart of specialization is organization.... So complex ... will be the job of organizing specialists that there will be specialists on organization.

Patrick McGeown, former Steelworker, 1967: ‘There is more in labouring than just using a shovel, or in leaning on it.... The art is to bear the daily burden of tiredness and boredom equably, to know the limit of one’s strength and to husband it. It is essential to know the right way to shovel, hammer, hold a wedge or a crowbar, carry loads, and to fill wheelbarrows.’

Christopher M. Grieve (aka Hugh MacDiarmid), Author, 1974: ‘Most people know nothing, and the educational system equips them only to do a job, not to live, not to become human beings. The fragmentation that is going on whereby specialists in one science are unintelligible to specialists in another has got to end – in the interests of all the sciences. It’s that bringing together of these disparate elements again that seems to me to be essential – and it will happen, it’s bound to.... Otherwise, people are not going to survive.’

Asa Briggs 1977: ‘In practice most interdisciplinary transactions have been either teleological or normative, although there has been interest in purposive interdisciplinarity, as evidenced by the two-cultures debate about natural sciences and humanities, developed by C. P. Snow and others in the United Kingdom, and curricular reform proposals advanced both by students and faculty since 1968.’

Sir Kenneth Corfield, 1986: ‘If all the technology which has been amassed to date were to be exploited to its full, the cost would exceed all available resources. Simply amassing a lot more unexploited technology is not an economic use of the world’s resources.’

Robert (‘Bob’) B. Horton, Chairman, BP plc, 1992: ‘Nothing short of a supply of Renaissance men will satisfy the needs of Industry.’

Frederick, Lord Dainton, Chemist, 1993 : ‘I really am very concerned, at the end of the day, that this divide between the sciences and the humanities, on which so much stress has been laid, has to go, because deep down I feel very strongly that there is more that connects these two sides than, in fact, divides them. I hope, before I shuffle off this mortal coil, I’ll see the beginnings of the necessary rapprochement, because if we don’t have it, it will be very, very unproductive, as it has been throughout most of my life.’

Edward O. Wilson, Biologist, 1998: ‘The greatest enterprise of the mind has always been and always will be the attempted linkage of the sciences and the humanities.’

Benoit B. Mandelbrot, 2002: ‘...I believe that for its own pragmatic welfare, society must allow some
persons to opt out of the strict division of labor.’

Brian Morton, Writer and Broadcaster, 2005, re the ‘two cultures’ : ‘...the ideas and issues raised by those words are more relevant than ever.... Snow may be largely forgotten and unread, but he is as relevant as ever and it would be worse than naive to pretend otherwise.’

Michael Marsden, QC, 2006: ‘It seems to me, for the first time, ever, there was a recognition, finally, that fingerprinting is not a science. It’s an art. It’s subjective. It’s in the eye of the beholder.’

Abertay University, 2008, television advertisement: ‘In today’s world the future is obsolete almost as soon as it happens.  To stay ahead, you can’t just be an expert in one field.  You have to be able to work between disciplines. Explore the uncharted areas between science and art.  Between mathematics and design. Between technology and psychology.  We call it white space. Abertay University Breaking barriers.’

For further such statements, see: Quotations.



Paul A. Weiss, paraphrased by Donna Wilson: ‘In order to reconstruct wholes from... decomposed fragments, it is necessary to add a descriptive term “that specifies lost relations.”’

We suggest, and shall employ:

artiscience, n., (ar-tish'əns, -yəns): 1. the theory and practice of integrating art and science; 2. knowledge of relations between the arts and science.

artisc'ient, adj., exhibiting or practising artiscience.