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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Art and Science are Two Sides of the Same Coin

The marriage of art and science is so crucially important because it extends who and what we are.

I think art and science are two sides of the same coin.  They ask the same questions.  They look for the same answers - who we are, where did we come from, how do things work, what does it all mean. 


And at times I feel like we need to let them inform one another, let the science inspire the artists and let the art tell the scientists why what they’re doing matters.  And that's a huge thing for me.  And I think that a lot of the themes that I explore in my short films that look at this co-evolution of humans and technology, these are techno-scientific themes, these are empirical ideas, this is stuff coming out of the labs nowadays and being written about in scientific journals and talked about at academic conferences.  

But I think these ideas are bigger than this academic packaging.  Ideas are so big that they deserve to have a sort of artful, aesthetically discerning packaging, right?  I think that we need to not underestimate the power of informing our ideas with reverence and with beauty and with good package design.  

There's a reason we love cinema so much, you know, because it takes the human experience and it sets it to music and it edits out the fact.  And it’s important to communicate.  To make people feel something, you have to not just communicate an idea.  You’ve got to induce the feeling behind the idea.  Why does the idea matter?  You know, people only respond to what moves them, and I think that's why this marriage of art and science is so crucially important because it extends who and what we are, I think.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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