Third Paper Prompt

Writing Prompt 3


Yo-Yo Ma’s “Necessary Edges: Arts, Empathy, and Education

Jonah Lehrer’s “The Future of Science…Is Art?

Optional School of Life Film, What is Art for?

Optional Film, Can Science Save Us?

Your Choice Essay

Yo-Yo Ma’s essay, “Necessary Edges: Arts, Empathy, and Education,” argues that education needs to shift its emphasis from STEM to STEAM. He uses ecological metaphors to explain the importance of establishing equilibrium between the humanities and sciences and calls for a “new consciousness,” one that integrates the critical with the empathetic, the emotional with reason. In “The Future of Science … Is Art?” Jonah Lehrer takes things one-step further when he writes, “Science needs the arts. We need to find a place for the artist within the experimental process…” (The stress is his). Now it’s your turn. When you consider the world’s largest problems, how do you see science and/or art contributing to the solution?

Please consider the problem relayed by your choice essay and write a 750 – 900 word multimodal essay that explores the potential role that art can play in addressing this problem. Incorporate Yo-Yo Ma and Jonah Lehrer into the conversation, as you decide whether or not you agree with their separate visions for the relationship between art and science.

Strive to be as specific as possible, and consider the following while you write: Do you feel there are limits to Ma’s integrated approach? Do you feel that there is a potential danger in mixing artistic insight with hard science? Do you feel that the arts threaten the scientific process? For example, maybe you believe that art for art’s sake is important or that science can work without the humanist or societal perspective. On the other hand, maybe you see the benefit of giving the arts a seat at the scientific table. Maybe you agree with Lehrer when he states that “[a]rt can make science better.” 

Remember: This is your argument, your voice in the conversation. Use Ma, Lehrer, and your choice essay to serve your vision. Each summary, paraphrase, and quote should either advance, support, or complicate your own argument or claim.

In order to fulfill the multimodal element of this essay, please include at least 3 other modes of composition (besides linguistic). This is your chance to put those blogging skills to work. Include hyperlinks, embed videos, audio, and/or images. Use your choice modes thoughtfully. I will collect a 250-300 word (1 page) Multimodal Statement along with your paper that includes an explanation for your individual multimodal choices as well as your reasoning for where you incorporated your media and how this placement influenced your overall argument. For example, if you chose to include an image, why that image, in particular, and why did you choose to place it where you placed it? How does your image work with your linguistic text to achieve your goal? Your Multimodal Statement will count toward 10% of your paper’s overall grade. Please post the formal draft of your paper and Multimodal Statement as a page on your ePortfolio under the parent page: ENG 110.