Two cultures are better than one

Our participation in the EGU 2015 EOS 8 Geoethics for society: General aspects and case studies in geosciences poster session:

Two cultures are better than one: Earth sciences and Art for a better planet sustainability

"Nature never breaks her own laws" Leonardo da Vinci
“Nature never breaks her own laws” Leonardo da Vinci

Tiziana Lanza (1), Giuliana Rubbia (1), and Aquiles Negrete (2)

(1) Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome – Italy ([email protected]), (2) Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Climate change, pollution, desertification, natural hazard, animals’ extinction are some of the problems we face every day. Very often Science and Technology are charged of the solutions while Art is intended mainly for entertainment. Are we sure this is the right attitude? “Technology is a queer thing. It brings you gifts with one hand, and stabs you in the back with the other”, says C.P.Snow, author of a milestone book on the Two Cultures, namely Sciences and Humanities. If Science can drive to a rigorous knowledge of the Earth speaking to people’s mind, Technology is Science in action. When individuals act very often the reasons behind their actions are linked to their education, values, sense of beauty, presence or absence of feelings, all things pertaining to the emotional sphere of humans usually addressed by humanistic culture. But if in one hand, Science and Technology cannot be left alone to solve the impelling problems that are deteriorating not only our planet resources but also our quality of life, on the other hand the humanistic culture can find a powerful ally in scientific culture for re-awakening in everybody the sense of beauty, values and respect for the planet. To know Earth is to love Earth, since nature is in itself a work of Art. Earth sciences dig out all the secrets that make our planet a unique place in the Universe we know. Every single phenomena can be seen then in a double face value. An Aurora, for instance, can inspire poetry for its beauty and colors but always remains the result of the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth magnetic field. And, most important, an Aurora will never inspire negative feelings. To make our part in creating a common field between Art and Earth sciences, we have created a blog and a related FaceBook page to collect, browsing the web, all the experiences in this trend, to find out that many scientists and artists are already working in this direction as a final and enjoyable surprise.

see the program of the whole session here:

Geoethics for society: General aspects and case studies in geosciences