The book collects the proceedings of art*science 2017/Leonardo 50 conference, that took place in Bologna, July 3-5 2017. Noema was a co-organizer and a main partner of the event.
art*science 2017/Leonardo 50 International conference was keen on the relationship between artistic and scientific disciplines and celebrated the 50th anniversary of Leonardo journal, published by MIT Press, the most influential in the international arena on the relationships among arts, sciences and technologies. art*science 2017/Leonardo 50 general topic was “The New and History”. The “new”, the “innovation”, have roots in history but they can project this heritage into the future thanks to the collaboration among arts, sciences and technologies.
The conference main topics were:
1) A reflection on the idea of “new”. What is really the “new”, what is the meaning of “new” and “innovation”? Today it is a very inflated issue, everything must be “new”, “innovative” to get attention, to be considered by the media, to get money. What is the meaning of “innovation” for a scientist, an artist, a philosopher, a sociologist, a researcher, a banker, a CEO, an athlete…? What does “innovation” really mean? How can “innovation” be recognized, communicated, fostered, sustained and spread?
2) The relationship between two concepts seemingly in opposition, that instead can and must coexist. The “new”, “innovation,” has its foundation in history, but it can and must revive its heritage in the future, through arts, scientific disciplines and technologies. This is a key element, from cultural, historical, social and economic viewpoints. The Countries in the Mediterranean Rim, and more in general all European countries, have a long history and heritage in art and culture, that can be valued through new disciplines, sciences and technologies.
3) The integration of arts, design and humanities into science, engineering and medicine, sometimes called “Stem to Steam” in the USA (STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine; STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design and Medicine). This is a historical discussion on the need for an inter/trans-disciplinary problem driven research. Among recent approaches on this topic the idea of “consilience” by Edward O. Wilson (Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, 1998), and Slingerland and Collard’s perspective (Creating Consilience: Integrating the Sciences and the Humanities, 2011, editors).
Some weeks before the conference beginning the topics of art*science 2017/Leonardo 50 were introduced by a discussion on Yasmin, and were relaunched throughout the events. Yasmin is an International mailing list, supported by UNESCO, Leonardo and Noema, born in 2005. It is collaborative project of a network of people and organizations, artists, scientists, engineers, theorists, scholars, students and institutions that promote communication and collaboration in art, science and technology in the Mediterranean basin regions. Many thanks to the invited discussants/respondents who animated the discussion, moderated by Roger Malina, Nina Czegledy and me. They are Elif Ayiter (Turkey), Wafa Bourkhis (Tunisia), Roberta Buiani (Italy), Salvatore Iaconesi (Italy), Pau Alsina (Spain), Giorgio Cipolletta (Italy), Katerina Karoussos (Greece), Živa Ljubec (Slovenia), Oriana Persico (Italy), Elena Giulia Rossi (Italy), Judith van der Elst (Holland). Some of them also participated to the conference. And of course to all the other people who gave their contribution to the discussion.
art*science 2017/Leonardo 50 conference was also the opportunity for a meeting among the participants to Yasmin mailing list.