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Two Sides Of The Same Coin

ByTom MillerThe Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

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Although you might not know it from his videos, Alan Sage didn’t much like science until fairly recently. A creative juggernaut—in addition to his raps, he’s written many poems and several screenplays—Alan was sure he was going to have a career in the arts.

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In fact, Alan had a healthy disdain for science that went far beyond his dislike of “gruesome killings.” Here’s a section from his interview where Alan describes the transformation in his thinking that led to his embrace of science:

Two Sides Of The Same Coin-alan_draws_better.jpg
Alan as a little guy, always creating worlds

“I think initially I was turned off by science simply because it didn’t seem beautiful or artistic. It didn’t seem like it was a creative process. You know, when you write a poem, you’re very much expressing your own universe through that poem. And science seemed like the polar opposite. While art is totally living in your own world, and being totally removed from the world, science is being totally involved

in the world and paying attention to every single detail meticulously. But in a sense, I’ve come to see that they [art and science] are two sides of the same coin. When you’re working as a researcher, you’re looking at the world through so fine a lens that it almost becomes another world, just like with art. And in that sense, it’s very artistic. I mean, for example, a plant biologist very much lives on the plant’s schedule. You know, when he can go on vacation depends on when his plants have reached a certain time in their growth when he can no longer do experiments on them. So as a scientist, you’re not living in a world you created, but you’re also very much living in a different world. You’re living in the world of whatever you’re studying.”