La Ciencia de Maravillarse (*)

This book is a reflection on the way scientists behave towards the act of making science. It is not only a rational act but mostly is led by intuitive creativity. It goes beyond the common idea of visualizing a man or a woman dressed in white working deeply and scholarly in a setting often called ‘laboratory’. The way a scholar follows goes from the so called rational logic to creativity awakened by intuition. The reflection also states that science and art go together in the scientific undertaking. Both the scientist and an artist are conducted by that capacity to dream about reality. The road pointed out by the scientific method is impregnated by imagination, and intuition (the capacity to transcend beyond reality) turning the scientific action into a meaningful reality. Inspiration is this sense is common to both: scientist and  artist.

Based on the aforementioned ideas we find in this book the core idea that a scientist is able to wonder at the greatness of the natural world. The scientific work is compared with the practices of religious devouts, that is, to be able to wonder at the environment and transcend its mere physical appearance of a phenomenon. Many testimonies are exposed collected by direct or personal interviews to well known scholars of the scientific world in Chile. The reports state that science is a type of religion that sets up a world order based upon the capacity to wonder about or ‘marvel at’ the surrounding phenomena, something evidenced from Copernicus to Kepler and from here to modern science.

The book comprises four chapters: 1. Welcome to the World of Forgotten Artists, 2.  A Religious Obsession on Beauty, 3. Science and Art put together in a Religious Dimension,  4. Epilogue or The Scientist as an Artist.

Throughout chapter one  topics on the question on whom can it occur to know what scientists think and do, the logic of science in doubt, science in history, anthropologists visiting a tribe of scientists are dealt with. In chapter two the idea of religious obsession on beauty is developed particularly focused on religious cosmic feeling as scientific motivation. In chapter three the topics: looking for a revelation sense, the role of intuition and error and beauty revelation are posed in a thoughtful explanation of formal and informal language understandable for both scientists and students prospective scientists coming out from an educational system.

In general it can be stated that the style with which this book is written combines both the suggestions provided by Dn Eduardo which leads the author’s attempt and goal of presenting the format of the book. It is a ficticious name whose content  to  some extent i s given at the beginning titled  ‘to see to be able to believe’ introduced by a Cortazar’ s Rayuela  ‘ Happy be she able to believe without seeing’. Throughout the pages of the epilogue we can get acquainted with the notion that the aesthetic experience is also applicable to the system of scientific knowledge although is primarily stated as a hypothesis, but it is worthwhile to focus the reader’s attention on this final part which is conclusive to the whole book. For example the idea of the possibility to ‘wonder’ at the moment when a scientists conducts his/her work; it is something similar to what we  come across in a religious feeling ; something like the joy feeling experienced when contemplating God’s creation or when receiving a divine message; the moment of wondering from the opinions of many of the interviewed  is understood as an emotion which goes from the ‘metaphysical anguish’ (having a question) to the sense of revelation (the intuition leading to find an answer). Science and magic (charm), after Levi-Strauss, are two rather similar types of knowledge as both share that quality of human beings to find ‘beautiful’ certain phenomena, to study them, or get the inspiration to make  Fine Art. The aesthetic value where science, myth, art and religion are knowledge systems initially motivated by an aesthetic feeling, guided by the emotion of discovering in front of a wide and huge world possible of explanation. Men and women, in this sense, working in science through their senses project experiences, motivations and personal emotions toward core determined ideas. In other words, this transference is related to the idea of providing meaning to facts, ideas or objects: a transcendental feeling. By approaching the opinions or views coming from scholars (men or women) makes us think as well how revelation works. But the road does not end here or there as the research work always provides us with ongoing questions. In a nut shell,  the aesthetic experience as well as  the sense of revelation  are regarded as vital in human beings trying to learn and move within our world. It is a simple rule in the act of knowing. Finally, if these ideas were embedded in any educational system we can ease our stressing life style: we have the power of creating along wondering!!

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