Incorporating art into science: the lesson of Ramon y Cajal

Posted: March 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

This is the blog post I planned to right only much, much better!

The brain is sooooo cool!

I just came back from The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal exhibit at NYU’s Grey Gallery. For those who don’t know, Ramon y Cajal (or Cajal as he is commonly refered to) was the father of neuroanatomy. He shared the Nobel Prize with Camillo Golgi in 1906 for using Golgi’s staining method to show that neurons were separate cells (Neuron Doctrine).

What I learned from The Beautiful Brain exhibit is Cajal was an artist and that in fact he approached the nervous system using an artistic approach rather than a modern data-centric style. His drawings are art and not data. And given his track record, I think that modern science, obsessed as it is with data, could benefit from a look at the lessons offered by Cajal.

Cajal’s neurons and brains, retinas and hippocampi rival in artistry the drawings of da Vinci, Dürer, Rembrandt, Kollewitz…

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