Science and Literature

In one of the first blog posts Seth discusses George Orwell’s “What is Science”. In the article George Orwell, in 1945 defined science as “(a) the exact sciences, such as chemistry, physics, etc., or (b) a method of thought which obtains verifiable results by reasoning logically from observed fact.” Amazingly even almost three-quarters of a century later and countless advances in technology we still use the same definition. Merriam Webster’s dictionary doesn’t define it much differently from George Orwell. However, they do add a third definition of “a subject that is formally studied in a college, university, etc”. To me it was remarkable that with all of the advances in science and technology over the past seventy-four years that our idea of what science is hasn’t changed. Orwell says “if it simply boils down to more physics, more chemistry, more biology, to the detriment of literature and history. Its probable effect on the average human being would be to narrow the range of his thoughts and make him more than ever contemptuous of such knowledge as he did not possess.” I disagree with this I think learning more about the natural wonders of the world around us by making discoveries in the sciences will only enrich all aspects of our knowledge. Increases in technology also include technologies in literature and art. I do not think looking at focusing vast amounts of time and energy on scientific study will be a detriment to literature. Take the media that this blog is posted on, the internet, before the advent of the internet if I wanted to write something about how I felt about a certain subject and have many people read it the best I could hope for is maybe an editorial in a newspaper. Now in a matter of seconds if they chose millions of people could search for the topic of my blog and anyone with internet access can read my thoughts. New technology has allowed advances in literature to take place that allow us to incorporate different kinds of media into the reading experience. Poems could have background music playing while being read, maybe a complex biological process is being discussed and a video is linked in the article that clarifies what is being discussed, people can listen to audiobooks while driving or doing chores. Literature is not going to go extinct it is simply evolving with the times. Literature will also always be important even in the scientific community because without scientific literature, new ideas would not be able to be passed from one person to another for further review and advancement. Many technologies and sciences have proven useful for writers and artists. Think about digital photography, digital media editing, all of the chemistry used in creating paint colors, the technologies developed for typing, all to aid the literary arts. We rely on science for everything from food production, medicine, even the clothes on our body. Scientific research and advancement has influenced nearly every aspect of modern day life and will only advance literature and the arts further.




  1. I definetly agree with you that advancements is science and technology has dramitcally changed the way the art and literature are experienced and distributed. As you mentioned, social media and the internet are great expamples of this shift.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s