The art in science

Science is a very general term. So is art. In some sense art and science are opposites of each other and in other cases you can think of them being synonymous to each other. Without going much in the theory of the words, by science I mean something that is based on systematic study. Something that has numbers to back it. It has reasoning and logic behind it. On the other hand, by art I mean something that is subject to aesthetic criteria. Something that is beautiful, appealing and presentable.

I am a big believer in science. Numbers are awesome (though subject to interpretation) overall they prove something. When you do data analysis based on large sets of information, applying scientific algorithms can do wonders. It can generate patterns and extract information that is not even visible by naked eyes. That is specifically evident when you work with social media information. The data is overwhelming and algorithmic processes do an awesome job identifying the hidden knowledge.

But when you try to sell this science, you need something that is beautiful, appealing and presentable to people who are going to use it. That’s the role of art in a science heavy world. No matter how sophisticated software programs you write to extract information or how well you can process data to gain rich knowledge, till you can communicate that in an easy to consume manner, it is of no use. Add a pinch of art to your scientific prowess. Think who your customer is. What do they need? What language they understand? Then put your scientific findings in a way that is appealing to them. That will make them empowered by knowledge and take action on it. That will make your work really matter and make the science in the background worth more than anything else.

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