Background:

Is it possible today to use a Renaissance‐like approach to culture, where rationality and creativity, reality and imagination, history and myth, science and art are not opposite polarities but complementary fashions to observe, describe and make sense of the reality?

Objective:

The Public Outreach & Education office (POE) of the Astronomical Observatory of Brera (Milan), one of the most ancient and prestigious institutes of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), has been started a multidisciplinary approach to the diffusion of the culture for several years, as a preparation for the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Methods:

We pursued four main different approaches to the dialogue among science and art: 1) to support theatre players in playing scientific‐related plays; 2) to stimulate artists and students at universary level to be creative in using scientific suggestions as a starting line for creative processes in visual arts; 3) to stimulate pupils at secondary schooling level to be creative in using scientific suggestions as a starting line for creative processes in both literature and comics; 4) to stimulate scientists and/or scientific journalists and/or scientific communicators in using scientific suggestions as a starting line for creative processes in narrative.

Results:

We pursued four main projects, coherently related to the previous methods: 1) a whole month (March‐April) of Science and Theatre at the Arsenale Theatre (Milan), in collaboration with the Arsenale Theatre Company, which has a very deep interest in contemporary scientific languages; 2) "The universe as a creative lab: astronomy for artists", a two‐years long project in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera (Milan), addressed both to students and teachers of the Academy itself. 3) an experimental narrative laboratory "The Olmicomics", addressed to 12‐13 years old students to motivate them in writing tales or comics related to some scientific idea or emotion; 4) an anthology of 21 tales by 21 different authors to show that science is not pure rationality, but a real way‐of‐life. The anthology was published in Italian by Springer – Verlag in September 2007 under the title of "Every number is equal to 5" (Tutti i numeri sono uguali a cinque).

Conclusions:

In our contribution, we will illustrate what works and what does not in our programme, referring in particular to the last project, which involved about 40 writers (scientists, journalists, science‐writers etc). Our goal was to show that science‐related jobs have a strong emotional context which is driven also by science. And that science is a major source of poetry, which should not be lost by common people. But is it true? Are scientists able to communicate their emotions in the right context? And do people appreciate their efforts? Why should we include science in our common imaginary? Last but not least: why should not we leave to narrative writers the job of writing tales?

Now, our experience is going on with a blog (http://www.tinsuac.it/)

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science for art's sake
Mixing the two cultures

Stefano Sandrelli   INAF‐Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

Daniele Gouthier   Innovations in the Communication of Science, ISAS

Robert Ghattas   Perugia Science Fest

Background:

Is it possible today to use a Renaissance‐like approach to culture, where rationality and creativity, reality and imagination, history and myth, science and art are not opposite polarities but complementary fashions to observe, describe and make sense of the reality?

Objective:

The Public Outreach & Education office (POE) of the Astronomical Observatory of Brera (Milan), one of the most ancient and prestigious institutes of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), has been started a multidisciplinary approach to the diffusion of the culture for several years, as a preparation for the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Methods:

We pursued four main different approaches to the dialogue among science and art: 1) to support theatre players in playing scientific‐related plays; 2) to stimulate artists and students at universary level to be creative in using scientific suggestions as a starting line for creative processes in visual arts; 3) to stimulate pupils at secondary schooling level to be creative in using scientific suggestions as a starting line for creative processes in both literature and comics; 4) to stimulate scientists and/or scientific journalists and/or scientific communicators in using scientific suggestions as a starting line for creative processes in narrative.

Results:

We pursued four main projects, coherently related to the previous methods: 1) a whole month (March‐April) of Science and Theatre at the Arsenale Theatre (Milan), in collaboration with the Arsenale Theatre Company, which has a very deep interest in contemporary scientific languages; 2) "The universe as a creative lab: astronomy for artists", a two‐years long project in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera (Milan), addressed both to students and teachers of the Academy itself. 3) an experimental narrative laboratory "The Olmicomics", addressed to 12‐13 years old students to motivate them in writing tales or comics related to some scientific idea or emotion; 4) an anthology of 21 tales by 21 different authors to show that science is not pure rationality, but a real way‐of‐life. The anthology was published in Italian by Springer – Verlag in September 2007 under the title of "Every number is equal to 5" (Tutti i numeri sono uguali a cinque).

Conclusions:

In our contribution, we will illustrate what works and what does not in our programme, referring in particular to the last project, which involved about 40 writers (scientists, journalists, science‐writers etc). Our goal was to show that science‐related jobs have a strong emotional context which is driven also by science. And that science is a major source of poetry, which should not be lost by common people. But is it true? Are scientists able to communicate their emotions in the right context? And do people appreciate their efforts? Why should we include science in our common imaginary? Last but not least: why should not we leave to narrative writers the job of writing tales?

Now, our experience is going on with a blog (http://www.tinsuac.it/)

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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