Throughout the Renaissance, the arts and sciences were both often practiced by women and men of scholarship of all sorts. The very notion of a ï¿½Renaissance Man or Womanï¿½ speaks to the idea that today we have somehow lost our way, and expect divergence, not integration. It was more common than not that scientists were also practitioners of some form of painting or artistic writing, and the converse. From Leonardo da Vinci to B. F. Skinner, the two have more often than not been interwoven. The notion that the two are separate endeavors emerged after the Renaissance when science and the humanities diverged, reaching its culmination during and after World War II when C. P. Snow presented his famous Rede Lecture, ï¿½Two Cultures.ï¿½ The arts are integral features that create the context within which our practices as research and applied behavior analysts are conducted. Artistic factors are also behavioral variables in our analysis of behavior. They are also uniquely effective in creating the context for socio-cultural conditional learning and discriminations. As we look about us, we are compelled to ask, ï¿½Why do artists create art?ï¿½ ï¿½Why can people with severe disabilities often create stunning artistic products while being unable to speak an intelligible sentence?ï¿½ ï¿½Why do so many of us feel artistic activities are uplifting and add a dimension to our lives that exceeds those of our science, alone?ï¿½ ï¿½How can the concepts of the arts and sciences be integrated to mutual benefit?ï¿½ In todayï¿½s discussion, Dr. Travis Thompson will explore the interplay of artistic activities and behavior analytic endeavors, where they intertwine and separate. *The title is from a comment by the first American woman astronomer, Maria Mitchell, in the 19th century.
Review Travis Thompson’s biographical statement.