Art + Science, On The Agenda

“So here’s how crazy things have gotten here at the National Academy of Sciences: We want to test this idea…that there is value in an integrated educational experience in science, humanities, and art.” –Tom Rudin

According to Rendezvous moderator JD Talasek, Art + Science is on the agenda. 

Talasek traveled to North Texas Mar. 30, 2016 to moderate the  Art + Science Evening Rendezvous at UNT which brought students, artists, authors, designers, scientists, industry leaders, and innovative thinkers from the Dallas-Fort Worth community together to explore the art + science frontier and learn how different communities approach the combination of disciplines.

“At what point can we make a case, go to Congress with this report, or go to a governor or to a policy-maker at any level and say, ‘There is value’?” –Tom Rudin, NAS

He noted that the National Academy of Sciences is asking what would happen if we integrated “Education in the Arts & Humanities with Education in Science, Engineering, and Medicine.” They are also exploring ways to quantify and measure the value of combining disciplines in the arts and the sciences.

But how can the value of art + science be measured? jd-tile-image

The combination of disciplines is a quest to ask great interdisciplinary questions.

For example, this year, the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) asked how “Ideation, Translation, and Realization” occur in collaborations formed on the frontiers of art, science, engineering, and medicine. The initiative brought  members of the Academy’s Futures Network together to form task-groups and communicate ideas with each other.

In that same spirit DASER ( DC Art + Science Evening Rendezvous and LASER ( events bring people together to discuss art + science projects, initiatives, and form collaborations through discussion within overlapping communities. The Washington DC Art + Science Evening Rendezvous is moderated by JD Talasek and organized by the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) together with Leonardo, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology.

The Mar. 24, 2016 DASER discussion centered on the theme of Art & Science Integration. A presentation by Tom Rudin, Director, Board on Higher Education and Workforce, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, titled “Arts Integration: How Should We Do It? Who Should Do It? And Why Bother?” presented the big questions on the table at the National Academy of Sciences.

“Where is the evidence that there is value in an integrated educational experience in STEM, arts, and humanities?”

According to Rudin, the NAS wants to investigate the hypothesis that “an integrated educational experience in science, humanities, and art…will add value to the experiences of undergraduates, graduate students, and K-12 students in a way that will make them better educated and better prepared for the workforce of the 21st century.”

The two-year study received a $750,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation Mar. 23, and Rudin says the committee wants to “determine the evidence behind, the data behind, the narrative behind this idea that there’s value in an educational experience that integrates these disciplines and does it in an effective way and adds great value to the experience of the students and the institutions they attend and ultimately our society as a whole. ”

Exploring ways to engage students, to bring life to the curriculum and the experience of learning has value. The National Academies wants to identify that value. “That’s our hypothesis, is that there is value. What there is not yet is solid evidence that there is value to this kind of educational experience, in an integrated way,” says Rudin. “At what point can we make a case, go to Congress with this report, or go to a governor or to a policy-maker at any level and say, there is value?”

To watch Rudin’s talk, click below:

Tom Rudin, “Arts Integration: How Should We Do It? Who Should Do It? And Why Bother?”

DASER_video intro


To learn more about the initiative, visit: Involved: Contact Tom Rudin

Learn more about the March 2016 DASER event (.pdf).


Learn why xREZ Art + Science Lab ( students find value in interdisciplinarity:

Watch: Art + Science, We’re Talking About It

News@xREZ April 2016


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