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Archive: Integrating Art and Science: Shifting Perspectives to Inspire Change

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J.D. Talasek

When one thinks of art and science integration, a name that always comes to mind is that of Leonardo da Vinci. But today our disciplinary structures of knowledge have separated, creating distinct cultures and practices – very different from the time of Leonardo. This separation poses challenges as well as opportunities. The disciplines have given us a great deal but how do we dig deeper and also apply this knowledge in a way that betters society and helps us imagine a world that we collectively want to live in? Creating better dialogue and collaboration between art, science, engineering, medicine, and the humanities is an opportunity to challenge perspectives and inspire impactful change. Over the past 50 years, there has been growing interest in bringing thinkers from diverse backgrounds together to advance both science and art. This talk will provide an overview of some of the activities occurring in the office of Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences that explore the integration of art, science, and other creative inquiries.

JD Talasek is the director of Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences ( Talasek is creator and moderator for a monthly salon called DASER (DC Art Science Evening Rendezvous) held at the NAS, part of the LASER network.
He is currently on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University in the Museum Studies Master’s Program. Additionally, Talasek serves on the Contemporary Art and Science Committee (CASC) at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. He is the art advisor for Issues in Science and Technology Magazine and has served as the Art and Design Advisor for the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative based in Irvine, CA. Talasek is a board member of Leonardo/ International Society for Art Science and Technology and is the chair of the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous Committee overseeing the growing international network of art/science salons. He was the creator and organizer of two international on-line symposia (and coeditor of the subsequent published transcripts: Visual Culture + Bioscience (2009, DAP) and Visual Culture + Evolution (2010, DAP).

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