Beauty At Work

Brandon Vaidyanathan

Beauty at Work explores how beauty shapes our lives and the work that we do. In this interview-based podcast, sociologist Brandon Vaidyanathan interviews leaders and experts across many fields to reveal new insights into how beauty shapes our brains, behaviors, organizations, and societies. Learn how to harness the power and promise of beauty in your life and work, while avoiding its pitfalls and perils. New episodes drop on the 1st and 15th of each month. The first season is about beauty in science. read less

Episode 9: Why Aesthetics is Essential for Science Education with Dr. Punya Mishra
Today
Episode 9: Why Aesthetics is Essential for Science Education with Dr. Punya Mishra
Dr. Punya Mishra is Associate Dean of Scholarship & Innovation and Professor in the Division of Educational Leadership & Innovation in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. He is internationally recognized for his work in technology integration in teaching; the role of creativity and aesthetics in learning; and the application of design-based approaches to educational innovation. He has received over $7 million in grants, published over 100 articles, and edited 3 books. He is an award-winning teacher, an engaging public speaker, as well as an accomplished visual artist and poet. And like any true Douglas Adams fan, he is interested in life, the universe, and everything.In this episode we talk about: How Dr. Mishra began seeing the beauty of the world through scienceHow can we revive the sense of wonder and curiosity in our classrooms?How education fails to cultivate the skill of curiosity and perceptionThe role of beauty in scienceDr. Mishra’s framework to better understand aesthetics in scienceCan curiosity be both helpful and harmful?Why do the aesthetics of coding matter?Can learning about the aesthetics of science help cultivate public trust?How can we develop generative curiosity?Why are the aesthetic aspects of science important?To learn more about Dr. Mishra work, visit: https://punyamishra.com/ You can also find him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/punyamishra Resources Mentioned:Dr. Mishra's framework for the role of aesthetics in STEM education:https://punyamishra.com/2019/02/10/aesthetics-stem-education-introducing-a-new-framework/Creativity & the Mindful Wanderings of Dr. Jonathan Schooler: https://punyamishra.com/2022/06/22/mindful-wandering-creativity-new-article/This episode is sponsored by Templeton Religion Trust as part of a grant on the aesthetic dimensions of science (TRT0296). To learn more about them, visit www.templetonreligiontrust.orgThis episode is also sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies, a global research center located at the University of Southern California. IACS works to create dialogue, spark ideas and sustain academic research on Catholic thought, creative imagination and lived experience. Learn more at iacs.usc.edu
Episode 8: The science of awe and the awe of science with Dacher Keltner
Jan 15 2023
Episode 8: The science of awe and the awe of science with Dacher Keltner
Dacher Keltner is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the faculty director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. A renowned expert in the science of human emotion, Dr. Keltner studies compassion and awe, how we express emotion, and how emotions guide our moral identities and search for meaning. His research interests also span issues of power, status, inequality, and social class. He is the author of The Power Paradox and the bestselling book Born to be Good, and the co-editor of The Compassionate Instinct. His latest book is titled Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life. In this episode we talk about: What drew Dacher to the scientific study of awe How awe differs from wonder and beauty What has surprised him the most about what he learned through his research What are the causes and triggers of awe, and why it matters for us to experience it How might experiences of awe facilitate scientific inquiry? And conversely, can scientific work deepen our sense of awe and mystery? Can awe lead us to both action as well as contemplation?    Are there problems with the structure or culture of science that inhibit experiences of awe? How can we nurture awe in research culture?  What is the relationship between awe and spirituality?  How can we practically cultivate awe in our daily lives? To learn more about Dr. Keltner’s work, visit: www.dacherkeltner.comResources Mentioned:Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your LifeEdmund Burke on the Sublime and the BeautifulCharles Darwin’s The Origin of SpeciesThe Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf
Episode 7: Beauty, Desire, and Rivalry in Science and Technology with Luke Burgis
Jan 1 2023
Episode 7: Beauty, Desire, and Rivalry in Science and Technology with Luke Burgis
Luke Burgis began his career on Wall Street in investment banking and private equity and went on to found multiple companies in technology, consumer products, and wellness. He is Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Director of Programs at the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship at The Catholic University of America, where he is also a professor of business. He graduated from New York University’s Stern School of Business with a degree in Finance and Accounting and later studied philosophy and theology at a pontifical university in Rome. Luke is the co-author of the book Unrepeatable: Cultivating the Unique Calling of Every Person, with Dr. Joshua Miller, and the bestselling book Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life (St. Martin’s Press), inspired by the ideas of the social theorist René Girard on the mimetic or imitative nature of human desire.In our conversation, we talked about what beauty has to do with mimetic desire and rivalry, especially in the worlds of science and technology.In this episode, we explore:1. What attracted Luke to pursue finance, entrepreneurship, and then to study philosophy and theology2. What is mimetic desire, and why does it matter?3. The work of Rene Girard on mimetic desire4. How mimetic rivalry relates to unhealthy competition in science5. How to foster healthy competition instead of mimetic rivalry6. Comparing the worlds of technology and academia when it comes to mimetic desire7. Luke’s conceptual framework called The Three-City Problem, examining the relationship between reason, faith, and technology9. How one can focus on deeper beauty rather than mimetic desire10. The scapegoating mechanism and the mimetic crisis11. How to become anti-mimeticTo learn more about his work, visit his website and subscribe to his newsletterCheck out his book:Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Lifehttps://www.amazon.com/Wanting-Power-Mimetic-Desire-Everyday/dp/1250262488
Episode 5: Beauty and the Brain: The Science of Neuroaesthetics with Anjan Chatterjee
Dec 1 2022
Episode 5: Beauty and the Brain: The Science of Neuroaesthetics with Anjan Chatterjee
Our guest today is Anjan Chatterjee, MD, FAAN. He is a Professor of Neurology, Psychology, and Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and has served as the Chair of Neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital. While his clinical work focuses on cognitive disorders, the focal points of his research are in neuroaesthetics, spatial cognition, language, and neuroethics. His multidisciplinary knowledge has won him recognition and awards. It has led him to author his book, The Aesthetic Brain, a study on how art has embedded itself into the human mind as investigated through the lens of neuroscience and evolutionary psychology.Dr. Chatterjee joins us to discuss the following:Dr. Chatterjee’s academic path from philosophy, to neuroscience, to neuroaesthetics.Are humans hard-wired for beauty?Individuals are influenced by culture, and culture is influenced by the collective.The Aesthetic Triad and how it is affected by moral judgments.Using beauty as a heuristic.Why humans can find beauty in non-sensory subjects.The questions asked by neuroaesthetics.What can we learn from exploring aesthetics in Science?Visit Dr. Chatterjee’s blog on Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-behavior-and-beautyCheck out his books: The Aesthetic Brain: How we evolved to desire beauty and enjoy art and co-edited Brain, Beauty, and Art: Bringing Neuroaesthetics in Focus as well as Neuroethics in Practice: Mind, Medicine, and Society, and The Roots of Cognitive Neuroscience: Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology.https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FHZZYOU/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1Brain, Beauty, and Art: Essays Bringing Neuroaesthetics into Focus (With Eileen Cardillo)https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09LVVRY54/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0Neuroethics in Practice (With Martha J. Farah)https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CXQ6PSU/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i2The Roots of Cognitive Neuroscience: Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology (With H. Branch Coslett)https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HFPV4AI/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i3
Episode 2: Can scientific experiments be beautiful? with Dr. Milena Ivanova
Oct 15 2022
Episode 2: Can scientific experiments be beautiful? with Dr. Milena Ivanova
Today’s guest is Dr. Milena Ivanova, a philosopher of science based at Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge University, where she is a fellow, graduate tutor, and the Director of Studies in Philosophy. Dr. Ivanova’s research involves studying aesthetics in the expansive field of science and publishing numerous articles, papers, and books on the subject. She is the author of  Duhem and Holism (Cambridge UP, 2021) and co-editor of The Aesthetics of Science: Beauty, Imagination, and Understanding (Routledge, 2020). Dr. Ivanova lends us her expertise to explore the following:What attracted Dr. Ivanova to studying beauty in scienceThe relevance of beauty and its role in understanding scienceFunctionality and optimality of purpose contributing to an experiment’s beautyThe beauty of experiments beyond visual aesthetics through design and significance On beauty contributing to biasThe benefit of learning about beauty in science for scientists and philosophersApplying beauty and the awareness of it in other aspects To learn more about Dr. Ivanova’s work, visit https://www.milenaivanova.co.uk/Also, check out her books such as:Duhem and Holismhttps://www.cambridge.org/core/elements/abs/duhem-and-holism/0D574554BB82648C0E5E1DFA6C550300The Aesthetics of Science: Beauty, Imagination, and Understandinghttps://www.routledge.com/The-Aesthetics-of-Science-Beauty-Imagination-and-Understanding-1st-Edition/Ivanova-French/p/book/9780367141141You can also explore the topic of our interview in the following articles:When is a scientific experiment like a beautiful work of art? https://aeon.co/essays/when-is-a-scientific-experiment-like-a-beautiful-work-of-artWhat is a beautiful experiment?https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10670-021-00509-3The aesthetics of scientific experimentshttps://compass.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/phc3.12730Watch out for our new episodes every 1st and 15th of the month!
Episode 1: Beauty in Physics with Dr. Mario Livio
Oct 1 2022
Episode 1: Beauty in Physics with Dr. Mario Livio
My guest today is the astrophysicist and author Dr. Mario Livio. Dr. Livio is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For 24 years, Dr. Livio worked with the Hubble Space Telescope. He has published more than 500 scientific articles on topics such as cosmology, supernova explosions, black holes, extrasolar planets, and the emergence of life in the universe. He is the author of seven books including The Golden Ratio, Is God a Mathematician, and Brilliant Blunders. His latest book is Galileo and the Science Deniers. In this episode, we explore:What attracted Mario to astrophysics in the first placeMario’s definition of beauty in science consists of three specific criteriaMario’s experiences of encountering beauty in scienceHow mathematics may be relevant to our understanding of beautyWhether the beauty we can encounter in science and art are similar or differentWhether scientists should care about beauty in their work, and if the public should care about beauty in scienceTo learn more about Dr. Livio’s work, visit https://www.mario-livio.comAlso, check out his books such as:Galileo and the Science Deniershttps://www.amazon.com/Galileo-Science-Deniers-Mario-Livio/dp/1501194747/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=The Golden Ratiohttps://www.amazon.com/Golden-Ratio-Worlds-Astonishing-Number/dp/0767908163/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1660240897&sr=1-1Is God a Mathematician?https://www.amazon.com/God-Mathematician-Mario-Livio-ebook/dp/B004NNVFW2/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1MXORNGPGLQ4CWhy? What Makes Us Curioushttps://www.amazon.com/Why-What-Makes-Us-Curious/dp/1476792100/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1660241070&sr=1-1