“History shows that the sciences and technology have never flourished in the absence of a similar flourishing of the arts.”
“A consensus is emerging that scientists and engineers need skills associated with, and often learned from, the arts.”
“The arts are not the useless, frivolous, or purely subjective pastimes they are often portrayed as being. If we let the arts atrophy… through lack of public support, we also will lose an important part of the creative base from which the next generation of scientific and engineering breakthroughs will emerge.”
– Robert S. Root-Bernstein*
From:”For the sake of science, the arts deserve support”;
The Chronicle of Higher Education, (July 11, 1997; p 43)
Certain that ours was not a lone voice in the wilderness, we set out to write an article for the purpose of giving historical context to the validity and worthiness of FanFaire Foundation’s mission as illustrated above: to nurture creativity of the highest order through programs that unleash the power of music to fire the scientific imagination, break barriers between peoples, and uplift the human spirit. Our research led us to an excellent article by Robert S. Root-Bernstein with the spot-on title of “Music, Creativity and Scientific Thinking” that not only telescoped our own thoughts on the subject but also unexpectedly opened a treasure trove of treatises extolling the creativity spawned, in the tradition of Leonardo Da Vinci, by the cross-pollination between the arts and the sciences, that has impacted modern lives in ways that we have come to take for granted. The extremely readable and well-documented articles are worth reading both for pleasure and information. We couldn’t have done a better job, and so, rather than doing a rehash, we thought it best to link the interested reader to the original articles [see sidebar at right]. The salient points most relevant to FanFaire Foundation’s mission are succinctly expressed in the quotes above.
* Dr. Root Bernstein, one of the first “genius” fellows of the MacArthur Foundation, is a professor of physiology at Michigan State University. He studies the evolution of physiological control systems, autoimmune diseases, and scientific creativity. He and his wife, collaborator, and frequent co-author Michele who holds a Ph.D in the history of science, are perhaps today’s foremost experts on creativity.