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Materials Research Institute



'The Poetry and Music of Science: Creative Populations across Cultures' with Tom McLeish, FRS, FRSC

Image: Professor Tom McLeish
Professor Tom McLeish

Date: 29 January 2020   Time: 18:00 - 19:00

We are delighted to welcome back for this evening's talk: Tom McLeish, FRS, FRSC, prominent scientist, author and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Durham University for a public lecture 'The Poetry and Music of Science: Creative Populations across Cultures'.

Abstract: I could not see any place in science for my creativity or imagination,’ was the explanation, of a bright school leaver to the author, of why she had abandoned all study of science. Yet as any scientist knows, the imagination is essential to the immense task of re-creating a shared model of nature from the scale of the cosmos to the smallest subatomic structures. A four year project led to the book, The Poetry and Music of Science (OUP 2019), which takes a journey through the creative process in the arts as well as sciences. The lecture draws on both past testimony and contemporary accounts of scientists, artists, mathematicians, writers, and musicians today to explore the commonalities and differences in creation. Tom McLeish finds that the ‘Two Cultures’ division between the arts and the sciences is not after all, the best classification of creative processes. Instead, the three modes of visual, textual and abstract imagination have woven the stories of the arts and sciences together. The lecture concludes by asking how creativity contributes to what it means to be human.

(NOTE: Please reserve a ticket at the link below - to make sure we can accommodate everyone)

Location:  David Sizer Lecture Theatre, Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus, Queen Mary University of London
Contact:  Stoyan Smoukov, PhD