Mediating Art and Science Co-Edited by Alenda Chang

08 Aug, 2020

Mediating Art and Science Co-Edited by Alenda Chang

Alum Alenda Chang co-edited Mediating Art and Science with Adrian Ivakhiv for Media+Environment! The issue asks: What is media’s place in the supposedly long-standing discontinuity between the arts and the sciences? Might media studies’ conventional expertise in technology, audience, communication, and design help reconcile them?

The issue also includes an article by another alum, Danielle Svehla Christianson!

From the editors' introduction:

In his 1959 Rede Lecture at Cambridge, scientist-turned-novelist C. P. Snow famously described a methodological and conceptual rift between literary intellectuals, on the one hand, and scientists, on the other ([1959] 1998). Snow ventured to classify humanists as past-facing, “natural Luddites” who are slow to change (22), while scientists, he explained, may seem shallowly optimistic to outsiders but in reality have “the future in their bones” (10). “Between the two,” he noted, there lies “a gulf of mutual incomprehension.” Given the “curious distorted image” they have of each other, Snow thought it difficult for them to find “much common ground” (4).

On the fiftieth anniversary of Snow’s lecture, in 2009, many an author was quick to proclaim that the rift had only widened, in part due to the growing ambit of scientific research and increasing specialization, and in part due to alarming reports of scientific illiteracy and skepticism among general citizens (Hartz and Chappell 1997; Winston 2009). It struck us, as coeditors of this stream of Media+Environment, that there was plenty of evidence against this “widening rift” hypothesis and that a focus on media might help to clarify where the bulk of the evidence falls.

Read more here!