Article in Nature Examines Growing Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Education

A new article in Nature examines the convergent relationship between traditional scientific and artistic avenues of study.

Graduate students who want to pursue both art and science have multiple options. Universities are responding to the demand from students with hybrid interests, who want to pursue the coupling of art and science rather than be forced to choose between the two, says Roger Malina, Distinguished Chair of Arts and Technology and Professor of Physics at UT Dallas. UT Dallas opened an Arts and Technology (ATEC) program in 2004, and launched an ATEC PhD program last year that currently has 55 students and is planning to double in size in the next few years.

Dr. Roger Malina

Malina adds that other universities are also experimenting with how best to fuse art and science. Some, such as MIT, UCLA and the University of California, Davis, offer student training at their art–science centers or labs.

In France, a partnership across the scientific research institutes and the decorative- and performing-arts centers of Paris Science and Letters has launched the Science, Art, Creation, Research PhD program.

And such training can help newly minted PhD holders to expand their job search to include art-related posts. “We are starting to see a few positions for hybrid art–science professionals, and I believe this will continue to grow,” says Malina.

Guna Nadarajan, dean of the University of Michigan School of Art & Design in Ann Arbor, notes that Google and IBM are hiring graduates with design backgrounds for their research and development teams; and companies such as 3M and Proctor and Gamble have a steady demand for those skills in their efforts to develop innovative materials.

Read the full article on the Nature Website.