The Science of Salieri

I1558386_10152001588301447_9192734424621195153_n (2) took an online test and scored 67% right brained.

According to the (now disproved) theory, the right brained among us have an aptitude for Language and Art, and the left brained among us prefer Science and Maths.  Still, the myth persists, and I’ve always found this a bit odd because I’m great at science and language; rubbish at maths & art…  Maths, though conceptually beautiful and THE ONLY TRUTH, usually makes my brain explode, and art is almost always completely over my head. But biology, geology, chemistry, poetry and music make my synapses glow.

Music is a strange spanner in the works, as it is creative, expressive and emotive, yet fundamentally mathematical. Even its effects on our emotions can be quantified according to the notes, chords, progressions, etc. My ‘right-brain’ doesn’t give me the discipline to learn music properly but it does give me the creative urge to write music. So I know I’ll always be a Salieri rather than a Mozart, more John Lennon than John Williams, and I’m just fine with that.

But what concerns me is that this right-brain-left-brain pigeon-holing can have detrimental effects on how we see our own potential. I was always told at school that you had to be good at maths to be a scientist, and that’s simply not the case. It is only due to my own stubbornness that I persevered with science (If there’s one way to get me to do something, its to tell me I can’t do it).

It makes me wonder how many of our potential future natural historians, conservationists and biologists shy away from the sciences in school, college and university because they also happen to be creative souls, and think that the two are mutually exclusive.  Let’s not forget that science is interpretative – that’s the whole point. We’re explorers. We’re cultivating and feeding a sense of wonder – what could be more poetic than that?  I’ve ranted before about how biology is (erroneously) seen as a soft science.  Approaching something analytically is not the sole domain of the theoretical physicist, and mathematicians do not have intellectual property rights over logic.

So, for the record, if you love science AND literature – you can be a scientist OR a writer OR both. Or neither for that matter.  You don’t even have to be good at something to love it and to get something out of it (like music for me!). The possibilities of what you can do in life are endless, and I don’t care if you’re 15 or 50. If you’re in a box, you walked into it (although someone may have held the door open and ushered you in).  Step out of the box.  Do whatever you like.

2 Replies to “The Science of Salieri”

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