By Dr Jenny Wilson
Although governments and funding bodies seem determined to place academic teaching and research into neat (measurable and quantifiable) boxes, academics themselves are starting to breach the historical silo walls that have constrained collaboration and understanding. Leonardo da Vinci is reported to have said: “Study the science of art; Study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realise that everything connects to everything else.”
But disciplinary stereotypes retain a powerful influence. We have all come across stories of non-arts academics portraying creative arts research as “fluffy entertainment” and treating tertiary creative arts as unwelcome and unworthy visitors to the institutional budget table. How generalised are these attitudes? Do they really reflect how those outside creative arts actually see us and the value of our disciplines?
In this edition of NiTRO we explore how non creative artists reflect upon our contributions, the issues that we face and the benefits that we might bring.
Psychologist David Pearson, (Anglia Ruskin University) points out how the stereotypical fallacy of right and left-brain thinking disadvantages both arts and science
Geographer and artist, Kaya Barry (Griffith) notes the growing interest of social scientists to work with creative artists but argues the need for artists to carefully consider the role that they play in research collaboration.
Educationalist Peter Charles Taylor (Murdoch) considers how current science education can be improved by connecting with arts.
Cultural economist Bronwyn Coate (RMIT) discusses the influence of labels and expectations applied to artists and the impact that this has.
Craig Batty (UTS) and Claire Corbett (UTS) share the experiences of counterterrorist experts attending a creative writing workshop.
We also introduce a new “Long Read” feature written by US academic Ben Shneiderman (University of Maryland) who, with the kind permission of the US National Academy of Science, has enabled us to republish his introduction to the Sackler colloquium on arts-science collaboration from a science and engineering perspective.