Eye of the Beholder?

Science as art?  Art as Science?  Are these things relevant to each other?

Pretty, huh?  These are patterns within the brain!  I must confess that I don’t follow the whole Science and Art schtick, unless it is perhaps about the origins of the materials used to paint a picture, or to tell how old it is, or even methods to show what is underneath a certain painting.  Or as a use in Science Communication though photos, exhibits, books and what-have-you.  I’ve been amazed at images produced from different scientific methods, especially in the micro-realm.  You could consider the humble nautilus, a cephalopod (related to octopus and squid).  It looks like this:

These wash up on the shore (more in tropical areas!) and have a distinctive shell: brown and white patterned on the outside and a mother-of-pearl interior (due to the mineral aragonite which is a form of calcite).

Nautiloids show up in all sorts of imagery, like the photo above, as well as applications in mathematics for their whorls! 

Or as a template for a speaker:


These pretty shells show life: growth patterns, environmental adaptions and the beauty within nature.  For me, there is one other application of art in science: giving us an idea of what came before.  nautiloids had a close relation, the ammonites, that died out with the dinosaurs, and so we can infer what they looked like and how they lived by comparing today’s living being with a fossil that last lived about 65 million years ago.  And think of the dinosaurs themselves, the bones themselves aren’t inspiring but the imagery produced by artists has meant they are ensconced in everyday life.  And this is what I think 😀

Want to know more? Check out these discussions:

 So get along to the many arty science things on this week including (click to find times and venues):


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