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Consilience at the World Science Festival in New York City

[ 0 ] May 28, 2010 | Noah Hutton

114576882_3001Sam McDougle and I are guest blogging for the World Science Festival, which will take place in New York City next weekend. Sam’s first post is on “evolutionary bridges”:

In my recent career as an undergraduate, I noticed a curious phenomenon–around my junior year, dorm rooms across the campus were suddenly spending Friday nights captivated by the wonders of the natural world, led along by David Attenborough’s poised intonations. BBC’s Planet Earth box set would soon be as ubiquitous in 18-24 year olds’ DVD collections as The Matrix, Dazed and Confused, and any Wes Anderson venture. As a science student, I was intrigued to see my art-historian/Russian-lit-critic/sociologist friends totally captivated by marine insects and the hunting strategies of wild dogs. [read the full post here]

My first post is about a handful of art/science events at the WSF, one of which includes the vision researcher Margaret Livingstone, whom I’ve written about before on this site.

Some of our greatest triumphs as a species have come from those who saw little difference between being a scientist and being a humanist. From Leonardo’s visionary notebooks to Herschel’s lunar poetry, science has provided a necessary resource for some great art; and art has, in many cases, compelled the progress of scientific research. For Santiago Ramon y Cajál, considered the father of modern neuroscience, it was a childhood spent sketching the branching structures of trees that later reverberated in his pioneering staining techniques of neurons in the brain, yielding some of the most detailed and beautiful scientific imagery of our nervous system to date. [read the full post here]

Check out the WSF site for the full lineup of next weekend’s events.

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