What Is and What Could Be

What is the relationship between Science, Art and Engineering?

Science is concerned with What Is and Why That’s So. An astronomer who measures a distant star to see if there is a dimming as an orbiting planet passes in front must work with the data she collects. If no dimming is seen, then no dimming is seen – the data can’t be changed.

The purest scientists are theoretical physicists and mathematicians. One small mistake in one equation causes everything after to be wrong.

Art is concerned with What Could Be and Why Isn’t That So. If a painter or filmmaker imagines some fanciful scene he can make that image, regardless of whether or not it currently exists or is even physically possible.

The purest artists are digital image makers, painters and writers. Whatever they imagine they can put onto paper or a screen, and then their job is done.

But halfway between people who are concerned with What Is and What Could Be are the Engineers. Engineers need to think up new things that no one has thought of before, but then bring those things off the screen and into real life.

That is the relationship between Science, Art and Engineering.

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