SCI-ART LAB

Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

Science communication series : Part 9

 

All these days I thought science communicators and writers around the world are at least trying to do something in the societies they live in to bring some science comprehension to the people around them. But my hopes are dashed when I came across an artist from Africa and the things that happened after that.

An interesting episode has happened recently in the science-art arena. I asked several artists whether art has helped in getting sweeping changes across the world. I got some really excellent replies that somewhat changed my perception of art for the better.

But I got some other replies that claimed several things. One person declared:

"Art serves so much and beyond. It is a form of Science of its own but misunderstood and fought by many scientists. It should be collaborated which need more research of its own.We have pieces of art from Africa which solves many unsolvable questions by scientists today. There are also many scientists who have taken advantages of those artists for their own benefits."

Then I said: Ms. X, you say, "We have pieces of art from Africa which solves many unsolvable questions by scientists today".
Please let me know the details and I will highlight them and bring them to the notice of the science-art world through my network. Anything associated with knowledge should be given its due respect whether it is from the field of art or science.

I was expecting to see  some real good art works that were based on science here. But I was extremely disappointed when I got this reply:

"I did send you one picture of a fertility from Tanzania Makonde Tribe. It is a piece of art which was used by a medicine person or a healer to make a woman become pregnant when everything else fail. I have witnessed more than 15woman achieve their dreams of having children. This is how our doctors worked in Africa."

(Twenty days after I posted this article the artist sent me the pictures, she says,  can make women pregnant. The artist is still insisting that her claims are true! I have added them to the comments section below. Now you yourself can try and test her claims!. 
Although I already know the results -  I still want to follow the route of science to debunk her beliefs.  I added them for people to test and see the results for themselves...  )

As a person of science this is really shocking to me. An artist says Art can help science but scientists don't acknowledge it. Why would they? Are they dumb to believe everything you say? This is my reply to her:

"Thanks for the message, Ms. X. But the things you mentioned are just 'beliefs' and will not be accepted by main stream science. I came across these things happening in Africa through the media. If doctors there worked like this, I think they are not real doctors. Like BBC says they could be witch doctors or people practicing alternate medicine. Such stories don't stand a chance of acceptance in the world of science. As a person of science I will have to be skeptical about these things and cannot accept them and promote them. Sorry!"

( Ten days after adding this post to AL, I came to know that this artist has emmigrated to the USA ten years back and is now living in a country which is one of the scientifically advanced countries in the world. And this didn't make any difference!)

Artists, don't try to bring baseless beliefs into the world of science and say these are miracles science has to understand and deal with too. A work of art making women pregnant and helping doctors! What a shock?! I am still shaking my head with disbelief! Am I living in the 21st century?

There are two lines of education. (1) Schools and colleges (2) Through communication if these  are not available in rural areas. If the first one fails, the back up system has to address the problems.
In the place where I live in, some communicators take the help of folk art, music, and dance to explain things to people.
It is the failure of these communications that result in total ignorance and spreading of superstitious beliefs!

I don't mean insult here. I am only mad at science communicators and writers. Where are you people? Is this the world we want to live in?

Are you listening? Do you people still exist?

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( the wonderful story of an art work making women pregnant! )

There will be two lines of education. (1) Schools and colleges (2) Through communication if these are not available in rural areas. If the first one fails, the back up system has to address the problems.
In the place where I live in, some communicators will take the help of folk art, music, and dance to explain things to people.
It is the failure of these communications that result in total ignorance and spreading of superstitious beliefs!

People belonging to the Masai Tribe in Kenya ( Luikipia region), formed a group (Masai Warriors) to play cricket. These people who visit several areas in Kenya to play cricket are teaching people about sanitation, ill effects of superstitions and AIDS. Way to go.

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