I never asked Dr. Angyal if he took the name for his course after Bronowski’s book
of the same name, but it was certainly the fulcrum of our reading. In it Bronowski proposes
redefining education, and, more specifically, constructing a portal between the humanities
and the sciences based on his concept of the “Creative Mind”. For Bronowski, there is little
difference between the chemist in the lab and the composer at the keyboard. Both work
with the same defined set of choices that others have had to work with. The chemist, for
example, uses the same basic Periodic Table of Elements that other chemists use. A
composer has before him the same number and types of piano keys that other musicians
have had to choose from. So what makes a Pasteur or a Mozart? A creative mind that
connects those common elements in a way that no one before has thought of. Thought of
this way, the cultures are not, or should not, be separate at all. Scientists and poets may use
different mediums and languages, but they are all intellectual explorers. The joy of the
discovery is the same.
Science, like art, is not a copy of nature but a re-creation of her. We remake nature
by the act of discovery, in the poem or in the theorem. And the great poem and the
deep theorem are new to every reader, and yet are his own experiences, because he
himself re-creates them. They are the marks of unity in variety; and in the instant
when the mind seizes this for itself, in art or in science, the heart misses a beat’
(Bronowski, Science and Human Values, 1965, p. 20).
Bronowski emphasizes the participatory role of the learner and the commonality of
language. “You cannot have a man handle paints or language or the symbolic concepts of
physics, you cannot even have him stain a microscope slide,” Bronowski contends,
“without instantly waking in him a pleasure in the very language, a sense of exploring his
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