The Art of Wonder

A Brown University/Rhode Island School of Design Dual-Degree student (BRDD, 2017), artist, writer, urbanist, and explorer of the world dedicated to finding Wondrous things. Art, design, science, literature and the connections between them. For my original artwork see

Posts tagged knowledge

Jul 4
“It is vital that science is not seen to hide behind closed laboratory doors, but engages seriously with the public.”

The massive impact of science on our collective and individual lives has decreased the willingness of many to accept the pronouncements of scientists unless they can verify the strength of the underlying evidence for themselves. […] 

Open your minds and share your results, says Geoffry Boulton, asking that scientists make data available to the public and to other researchers, because “Science’s capacity for self-correction comes from this openness to scrutiny and challenge”.

Science as an open enterprise is a report from the Royal Society that highlights 6 main changes needed to improve the openess of science:

  1. “a shift away from a research culture where data is viewed as a private preserve;
  2. expanding the criteria used to evaluate research to give credit for useful data communication and novel ways of collaborating;
  3. the development of common standards for communicating data;
  4. mandating intelligent openness for data relevant to published scientific papers;
  5. strengthening the cohort of data scientists needed to manage and support the use of digital data;
  6. the development and use of new software tools to automate and simplify the creation and exploitation of datasets.

(via smarterplanet)

(via bbglasses)

Jun 28

Walt Whitman Appreciation

This summer, I have made it my goal to read both the original and “death-bed” editions of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass in their entirety and to study them deeply. I have done this with only one Whitman poem (arguably Whitman’s most famous), “Song of Myself”. This sublime treatise details the power of Nature, of People, of the American Spirt, of Work, of Suffering, of Joy, and of the Self. It is written in plain, honest language and can be read and understood on different levels by all people. “Song of Myself” transcends history, class, and culture, and speaks on a level more universal and primeval than all of these. Although I have casually read many of the other poems in Leaves of Grass, “Song of Myself” has been the only one I’ve delved into and from which I’ve gained true understanding. 

Last year, as part of a school assignment, I spent about two months with “Song of Myself”, taking it apart and putting it back together in the context of American history and Whitman’s personal narrative, and finally, in the context of my own life and understanding of the world. From that point on, Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” became, for me, a kind of sacred text. I gained and continue to gain from “Song of Myself” what people of faith gain from the holy books of their faiths: guidance, comfort, resolve, solace, mystery, visions of the past, present, future. I subscribe to no faith and do not mean to say I have become a disciple of sorts of  Walt Whitman. I mean only to say that I know, from personal experience, that written words (even those which are not divinely inspired) have the power to transform and enrich one’s life. 

Now I wish to expand that transformative experience. In reading the rest of Walt Whitman’s poems the way I read “Song of Myself”, I hope to know more intimately the language Walt Whitman spoke. I wish to understand the conversations Walt Whitman had with the Universe in its own tongue.