Although my basic education has a hole the size of Alaska, I do know the occasional painting by name, and a few artists, too. And it strikes me how akin science and arts are. Both disciplines need people with a creative force that is pushing itself out, no matter how tired or overworked we are. Normal working hours are a conundrum to us, there are days where nothing happens (sadly), and then there are weeks and months when we drudge along as if there is no tomorrow
Artists and scientists successful in their jobs seem to have a thing or two in common: They are excellent not simply because of talent or intelligence (it helps, though). They are good because they love what they do, they know that nothing simply falls into their laps, and they know that only lots of discipline and hard work will get them forward. The outcome in both arts and science is a composition of knowledge, craft, and imagination. That's what keeps artists and scientists alive.
|Your carzy blogger on the bridge of the dutch research vessel RV Pelagia at windforce ten.|
These days, scientists are expected to communicate their findings to a broader audience and this pressure is mounting, causing an outcry among older (harumpf, including me) scientists.We are expected to be able to sell ourselves and our work better. In the good old days, they let us pipett peacefully, we could autistically rummage around in our labs. And suddenly we ought to have communication skills? That knocks out even the toughest scientist.
But one thing is very clear: If no one would have bothered informing the public about climate change, the bird flu, cancer, radioactivity (the list is LONG), there would be absolutely no benefit in doing research.