Music and science

I get various emails every now and then about journals, jobs, science news and so on, most of which are worth a quick skim for a glance at what’s going on outside of the bubble that’s my research. This week, I saw an article in Naturejobs (originally published in Nature itself) about the benefits of playing music whilst having a career in science and I read right to the end of it, so I thought it would be worth a mention:

Science and the arts: Rock and research / Karen Kaplan

As an amateur musician myself, I indeed identify with some of the views in the article. Music really does help me to unwind and think in a different way to when I’m at the lab bench or analyzing experimental data. I’ve been writing a lot of funding proposals lately, and I’m sure that being able to tap into a more “arty” side of my brain has helped a little with that. We’ll see if it’s enough when the results come later this year though…

However, I’m not in a band or touring or making records and making money like some of the talented people in the article. To me, that would take an extra chunk of time and effort that I feel I don’t have spare at the moment. Some of them take extended time out of research to focus more on their music, but research moves so fast these days it’s hard to see how they manage to stay at the cutting edge of their fields. But maybe, like the author, Karen Kaplan suggests, it’s the break from science that refreshes the mind that is so effective, enabling new associations and ideas to emerge and lead to that cutting edge.

Anyone got a spare garage (and nice neighbours) and fancy forming a band in Tsukuba??




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