The Art of Science

What connects science and creativity? How does a series of experiments come to be regarded as "elegant" or a body of research deemed "beautiful"?

Joseph L. Goldstein, Chair of the Medical Research Awards Jury, explores these topics in his annual essays on the deep relationship between art and science.

2001 - Knockout mice and test tube babies

There are no grand unified theories to guide experiments, so conceptual advances in the biomedical sciences are crucially dependent on technological innovations. Goldstein discusses two innovations - knockout mice and IVF - that revolutionized biology research and the practice of medicine. 

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2002 - Synergy and symbiosis à la Matisse-Picasso

Advances in sciences and the arts often result from synergistic interactions and symbiotic relationships between pairs of individuals. An example of such interaction in the arts is the nature of the Matisse-Picasso relationship. 


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2004 - Towering science: An ounce of creativity is worth a ton of impact

How does someone evaluate the hundreds of different biomedical discoveries made over the last several decades? A stone and wood installation by British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy points to how aesthetic decisions apply to the world of science. Goldsworthy's installation provides a framework for thinking about which research discoveries are worthy of being etched in Lasker stone.

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2005 - 60 years of winged victories for biomedical research

Mary Lasker's establishment of both the basic and clinical research awards reflects her philosophy of medical research: major advances come from both the bench and the bedside. She conceived and designed the Winged Victory statuette to symbolize a body of creative biomedical research that produces "victory over disability, disease, and death."

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2006 - Venture science: Climbing the ladder to discovery

In many respects, carrying out bold, high-risk experiments resembles venture capital — a phenomenon in which a small group of investors puts up money to finance a startup business that has no previous track record but has daring ideas.


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2007 - Creation and revelation in the biomedical sciences

Two art works discussed in this essay — a painting at the Royal Academy and a sculpture at the Louvre — exemplify two different routes to achieving artistic greatness: one involving creation and the other involving revelation. As in art, creation (through invention) and revelation (through discovery) are two different routes to advancement in the biomedical sciences. 

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