Two Cultures--Shiwei Huang

  Hello, my name is Shiwei Huang. I am a fourth year biochemistry major, and I entered UCLA as a transfer student. I am determined to become a doctor since high school, so I have been focused on science and put all my effort into it even since. I learned the violin for eight years and the flute for one year, so I can confidently say that I love art and enjoy it. However, I have never thought about the relationship between art and science, or if there was a relationship at all. By taking this class, I hope I can see how art and science can influence each other.

  Charles Percy Snow first came up with the idea that Western society started to split into tow groups, literary intellectuals and scientists. He believed that overspecialized school system caused that problem. For instance, there are specialized buildings for different subjects in schools. The campus of UCLA can be divided into North and South Campus. Being a south campus major at UCLA, I rarely go to north campus. Last Wednesday was my first time visited sculpture garden.

  Snow proposed the idea of “Third Culture,” in which literary intellectuals can communicate with scientists.  Stephen Wilson believes that the influence between artists and scientists is not symmetrical. Artists are willing to adopt cutting-edge technology to their artwork while scientists don’t believe artists can contribute to their work. Stephen Wilson argues that there are three ways in which artists work with science and technology. The first one is that artists use technology to create their artwork. The second one is that artists analyze and critique science and technology using art. The last one is that artists use art to address scientific research or technology development. He believes that many artists choose to work in the heart of scientific research. Here are some examples:

This picture was inspired by the experiments to detect neutrino trails in neutrino detectors.

Gina Czarnecki created sculpture from crystals and children’s milk teeth, which could be related to stem cell research. She wanted to educate the children as well as the public that stem cells are not limited to embryonic stem cells, and stems cells can be extracted from many kinds of cells including adult teeth.

This figure shows a florescent dog, and it is created by genetic engineering, which has the potential in treating disease.


Clark, Liat., “In pictures: The best of London's Picturing Science exhibit.” Feb. 2, 2011. <>

“Glowing in the Dark: Rare Pictures of Genetically Engineered Fluorescent Animals (Photos).” Aug. 3, 2011. <>

Hills, Suzannah. “The Fairy Tooth Palace: Artist makes stunning sculpture out of crystal and milk teeth to raise awareness of stem cells” March 29, 2012. <>

Snow, C. P., "The Two Cultures." Leonardo. 1990, 23, 169.

Vesna, Victoria. “Toward a Third Culture: Being in between.” Leonardo, 2001, 34, 121.

Wilson, Stephen. "Myths and Confusions in Thinking about Art/Science/Technology." College Art Association Meetings, NYC, 2000.