The Santa Fe Institute (SFI) Seminar presents “The History and Future of the Lab: Collaborative Research at the Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology” at 12:15 p.m., Thursday June 18, at Collins Conference Room.
Abstract: Creative teams comprised of diverse disciplines (i.e. art and science) ar more likely to achieve breakthrough innovations and also more likely to achieve significant outcomes than teams comprised of more closely allied fields. Art-science collaborations might be likened to venture-capital investments, in which a very small proportion of projects yield an extraordinary return.
As such we should expect a high failure rate punctuated by moments of extraordinary innovation that might not have been achieved otherwise. But extraordinary innovation is often not recognized at the moment of its inception. In addition, the beneficial outcomes of art-science collaborations may not be readily apparent or measurable using the metrics of any particular discipline.
An analysis of historic and contemporary art-science collaborations provides the basis for considering the potentials and challenges of transdisciplinary research. I argue that labs must develop compelling rationales for the importance of such research as an engine for innovation―innovation not just as an immediately recognizable artistic or scientific advance (much less a marketable commodity) but as constituting more subtle and perhaps more insidious and profound shifts in the conception and construction of knowledge and society.
Labs must also play a pivotal role in cultivating broader public recognition of the cultural value of research at the intersections of art, science, and engineering and in helping to make resources and expertise more widely distributed.