What's ArtScience?

Every Ohme’s project is the result of a fusion of skills between artists, designers and scientists, with no restriction on art forms (music, sculpture, digital arts, performing arts, applied arts, etc), or on science branches (formal, natural and social both fundamental and applied). These collaborative meeting points are opportunities for us to study, enquiry, support and develop what Root-Bernstein calls “transdisciplinary interactions”:

“Science and engineering are supposed to be objective, intellectual, analytical, and reproducible so that it is clear when an effective solution has been achieved to a problem. The arts, literature, and music, by contrast, are portrayed as being subjective, sensual, empathic, and unique, so that it is often unclear whether a specific problem is being addressed, let alone whether a solution is achieved. It therefore comes as a considerable surprise to find that many scientists and engineers employ the arts as scientific tools, and that various artistic insights have actually preceded and made possible subsequent scientific discoveries and their practical applications. These transdisciplinary interactions must cause us to reconsider how we think about innovation.”

Root-Bernstein, R. S. (2003). The Art of Innovation: Polymaths and Universality of the Creative Process. The International Handbook on Innovation, 267-278.

ArtScience Manifesto

The term “ArtScience” is relatively recent. It has been employed by the first time by Todd Siler in his book “Breaking the mind barrier” (1990).

Since then, more and more artists, researchers, philosophers, engineers and designers take a firm grasp of this notion and draw on it to think about new ways to connect people with various backgrounds, to explore new ideas, to break the boundaries between disciplines.

This growing emergence of transdisciplinarity helped Siler and colleagues to propose a more well-defined definition, what they called the ArtScience Manifesto:

  1. Everything can be understood through art but that understanding is incomplete.
  2. Everything can be understood through science but that understanding is incomplete.
  3. ArtScience enables us to achieve a more complete and universal understanding of things.
  4. ArtScience involves understanding the human experi- ence of nature through the synthesis of artistic and scientific modes of exploration and expression.
  5. ArtScience melds subjective, sensory, emotional and personal understanding with objective, analytical, rational, public understanding.
  6. ArtScience is not embodied in its products so much as it is expressed through the convergence of artistic and scientific processes and skills.
  7. ArtScience is not Art + Science or Art-and-Science or Art/Science, in which the components retain their disciplinary distinctions and compartmentalization.
  8. ArtScience transcends and integrates all disciplines or forms of knowledge.
  9. One who practices ArtScience is both an artist and a scientist simultaneously and one who produces things that are both artistic and scientific simultaneously.
  10. Every major artistic advance, technological break- through, scientific discovery and medical innovation since the beginning of civilization has resulted from the process of ArtScience.
  11. Every major inventor and innovator in history was an ArtScience practitioner.
  12. We must teach art, science, technology, engineering and mathematics as integrated disciplines, not sepa- rately.
  13. We must create curricula based in the history, philoso- phy and practice of ArtScience, using best practices in experiential learning.
  14. The vision of ArtScience is the re-humanization of all knowledge.
  15. The mission of ArtScience is the re-integration of all knowledge.
  16. The goal of ArtScience is to cultivate a New Renaissance.
  17. The objective of ArtScience is to inspire open-minded- ness, curiosity, creativity, imagination, critical thinking and problem solving through innovation and collabo- ration!

ArtScience, in sum, connects. The future of human- ity and civil society depends on these connections. ArtScience is a new way to explore culture, society and human experience that integrates synesthetic experience with analytical exploration. It is knowing, analyzing, expe- riencing and feeling simultaneously.

Bob Root-Bernstein, Todd Siler, Adam Brown and Kenneth Snelson (2011). ArtScience: Integrative Collaboration to Create a Sustainable Future. LEONARDO, Vol. 44, No. 3, p, 192.


Papers, books and articles
  • Planck, M. (1949). Scientific autobiography and other papers. F. Gaynor (Trans.). New York: Philosophical Library.
  • Bronowski, J. (1967). Scientific genius and creativity. New York: W. H. Freeman.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S. (1984). Creative process as a unifying theme of human cultures. Daedalus, 113, 197–219.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S. (1985). Visual thinking: the art of imagining reality. Transactions of the American Philosoph- ical Society, 75, 50–67.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S. (1987). Harmony and beauty in biomedical research. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 19, 1–9.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S. (1989). Discovering. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S. (1990). Sensual education. The Sci- ences (Sep/Oct), 12–14.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S. (1996). The sciences and arts share a common creative aesthetic. In: A. I. Tauber (Ed.), The Elusive Synthesis: Aesthetics and Science (pp. 49–82). Netherlands: Kluwer.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S. (1997). Art, imagination and the scientist. American Scientist, 85, 6–9.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S. (2000). Art advances science. Nature, 407, 134.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S. (2001). Music, science, and creativity. Leonardo, 34, 63–68.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S. (2003). The Art of Innovation: Polymaths and Universality of the Creative Process. The International Handbook on Innovation, 267-278.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S., Bernstein, M. & Garnier, H. (1993). Identification of scientists making long-term high-impact contributions, with notes on their methods of working. Creativity Research Journal, 6, 329–343.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S., Bernstein, M. & Garnier, H. (1995). Correlations between avocations, ascientific style, workhabits, and professional impact of scientists. Creativity Research Journal, 8, 115–137.
  • Root-Bernstein, R. S., Allen, L., Beach, L., Bhadula, R., Fast, J., Hosey, C., Kremkow, B., Lapp, J., Lone, K., Pawelec, K., Podufaly, A., Russ, C., Tennant, L., Vrtis, E. & Weinlander, S. (2008). Arts Foster Scientific Success: Avocations of Nobel, National Academy, Royal Society, and Sigma Xi Members. Journal of Psychology of Science and Technology, 2, 51-63.
  • Siler, T. (1990) Breaking the mind barrier. New York: Touchstone.
  • Weisskopf, V. (1977). The frontiers and limits of science. American Scientist, 65, 405–411.
  • White, R. K. (1931). The versatility of genius. Journal of Social Psychology, 2, 482.
  • Woolsey, T. A. (1978). C. N. Woolsey—scientist and artist. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 15, 307–324. Xenakis, I. (1985). Arts/sciences: Alloys. New York: Pendragon Press.

Talks and videos