UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The experience of doing science with an artistic spirit : a hermeneutic phenomenological study Fogel, Krista


This qualitative research study explored the perceived experiences of doing science with an artistic spirit through the voices of living scientists who also engage in the arts. The purpose was to understand how accomplished scientists who engage in the arts make sense out of their experience of doing science and to gain the scientists’ perspectives on the context of their experience. Four highly able scientists (ages 31-61) with expertise in their field who also self-identified as actively engaged in the fine arts were given a voice on the following issues: 1) What are your perceived experiences of doing science? As such, what can we infer about the role of the arts in doing science? 2) Based on personal experiences, are there implications for the integration of the arts and sciences in education? Through hermeneutic phenomenological methodology using thematic analysis, four major themes emerged: 1) Risking Success in a Scientific Vocation; 2) Feeling Healthy through the Arts (Satisfying an Inner Drive; Coping in a Stressful World); 3) Gaining and Giving Different Perspectives through the Arts (Complementary Tools of Perception; Complementary Processes of Perception); 4) Feeling Connected to Something More through the Arts. Each theme alluded to some aspect of aesthetic experience or extracognition, emphasizing the role of the arts in attaining such experiences. Educational implications are discussed in light of aesthetic experience, extracognition, and also interdisciplinary education in today’s context of science education.

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