Science and Society




‘Science... is a socially embedded activity... Much of its change through time does not record a closer approach to absolute truth, but the alteration of cultural contexts that influence it so strongly. Facts are not pure and unsullied bits of information; culture also influences what we see and how we see it. Theories, moreover, are not inexorable inductions from facts. The most creative theories are often imaginative visions imposed upon facts; the source of imagination is also strongly cultural.’


This is further underlined and expanded by Lewontin when he says:

‘Despite its claims to be above society, science, like the Church before it, is a supremely social institution, reflecting and reinforcing the dominant values and views of society at each historical epoch.’



Despite this common ground, we are artists, not scientists. We are not even experts in the areas our work intersects and that is because, in the final analysis, we are not engaged in illustrating facts but in creating interrogative works. We do not deal with e.g. immigration per se, but with the images that form the visible surface of the issue in our society. Not with the reality but with its representation. On the other hand science (and pseudo-science) are influential here because they are located within society too and are not just subject to its currents but often provide the impetus for them in the first place.

Although there are many differences, artists and scientists share many fundamentals in common-they are all part of that construct called society. Thus it is valid to say that for scientists too the selection of data, the formation of a hypothesis and the design of experiments to disprove or substantiate the hypothesis is not done by people who stand outside society, but by people who have their own personal, political and social agendas: