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Artscience: Creativity in the Post-Google Generation Paperback – September 28, 2009
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ArtScience champions the virtues of interdisciplinary work. Using captivating anecdotes of how both disciplines can enhance each other Edwards offers one of the strongest and most original contributions to the literature on creativity. (William S. Hammack, Commentator for National Public Radio's Marketplace, and Professor, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)
The tenor of this convivial, onrushing book makes one think that what the best workers in both fields have in common is what this book consistently offers: a great and moving intellectual generosity. (Jay Cantor)
Edwards' book is something of a manifesto for artscience, and for the need to cultivate more porous cultural, corporate and educational institutions...Arguing passionately for the need for new collaborations between scientists, artists, industry and the social sector, Artscience: Creativity in the Post-Google Generation is ultimately a collection of enticing tales from the trenches for would-be practitioners. (Michael John Gorman Irish Times 2008-02-02)
[Artscience] is less a technical tool than a motivational one: an exhortation for interdisciplinary intellectuals...Edwards infects us with his subjects' creativity. When the final chapter turns from vignettes to his utopian Laboratoire, we're rooting for it to succeed. (Alice W. Flaherty Nature 2008-01-17)
Edwards attempts in this truly inspiring work to shed light on the perceived dichotomy between the arts and sciences and why it needs to be challenged. He looks closely at the idea of translating concepts or ideas through pure sciences and the arts as they occur in all sectors of life. Essentially, he shows how scientific ideas flourish in the artistic community and how art can inspire science. Edwards takes interdisciplinary thinking to another level, going a long way in demonstrating a kind of symbiosis that can--and for many, does--exist between the arts and sciences. He relates stories of 'artscience' innovation in France, Germany, and the United States; discusses his recent founding of Le Laboratoire, an artscience cultural center in Paris; and explains the theory behind his idea of the "laboratory." (Michael McArthur Library Journal 2007-12-15)
There are scientists, and there are artists. Now, there are art scientists. In his new book, Artscience: Creativity in the Post-Google Generation, David Edwards explains how this group of thinkers melds the two disciplines in innovative ways to make lasting and important breakthroughs for the betterment of humanity, culture, academia, and industry. (V. L. Hendrickson New York Sun 2008-03-13)
In his concise book, Edwards, a professor of biomedical engineering at Harvard, shares the stories of people who have found ways to cross this barrier [between art and science]--artscientists, he calls them--and elegantly communicates the catalytic effect of their interdisciplinary leaps. (Daniella Maestretti Utne Reader 2008-07-01)
ArtScience champions the virtues of interdisciplinary work. Using captivating anecdotes of how both disciplines can enhance each other Edwards offers one of the strongest and most original contributions to the literature on creativity. (William S. Hammack, Commentator for National Public Radio's Marketplace, and Professor, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
'Artscientist' may be a misleading term - it really refers to innovators who make our world a better place. The author articulates using a lot of real-life examples that sources of inspiration for artscientists are not restricted to their 'area of expertise' but can come from outside - if one is a scientist, inspiration can come from arts or vice versa. The author hits the right spot claiming that the process of interdisciplinary idea translation is not encouraged by our society that has been in large part institutionalized and specialized. In the last part of the book, he introduces his own work to create a framework that encourages idea translation process for motivated students and scholars. In fact, it is this creative process that is defined as 'artscience'. Therefore, the book is not really about arts vs sciences and how people who have a 'dual taste' are likely to be more creative than others as the previous negative review states.
There seems to be no black and white way to enhance one's creativity. Translation between arts and sciences may not 'guarantee' conception of high impact ideas but as the author states, it is the process of translation - whether this crosses between art and science or just between subdivisions of a given umbrella discipline - that will allow one to refine ideas that may one day become influential.
This book is a great primer for a person who is seriously considering about becoming a problem solver with a bird-eye view of the world we live in.
Alas, this book does not live up to its promises. Instead, what we find is poor on information content and rich on uninteresting anecdotes about the author and his friends.
The useful information component of the book can be summarized as follows: 1) Some individuals trained as either artists or scientists made original contributions only after jumping the art/science divide. 2) Most institutions are resistant to innovation that takes inspiration from outside the institution's field of expertise. 3) Society might benefit more if institutional barriers could be lowered, allowing a greater cross-fertilization of ideas.
On the human side of the book, we are regaled with stories of the author's friend who is a doctor and hobbyist photographer and another friend who is an architect and expert skier. Somehow the story of these individuals whose outside interests are widely removed from their professional careers is supposed to express a profound fusion of arts and science into something creative and highly original. All in all,
we read about some people, good at their jobs and making use of other talents not called for in their main line of work. Apart from the fact that these individuals mostly hail from an academic environment, they are no more innovative than a small business owner who spends his free time fly fishing.
I'm sorry that this review comes across as harsh as it does. This book is neither insightful nor interesting to read. Near the end of the book, the author explains clearly why the work is flawed: he states that he writes for himself and not for others. So if you were hoping to learn something about creativity or human activity in the borderlands of art and science, you would be better served looking elsewhere.