Science versus art is about risk

Once upon a time, deciding the structure of building, the architecture of it, was an art. People tried new things, but at the same time, it was risky to go to far away from the past. No one knew what could work, only what had.

Eventually, the science behind structural engineering was developed, and it became less risky to do something different. It was possible calculate the likelihood of failure for different events like earthquakes, winds, snow, etc. Factors of safety could be used.

Science is about taking something risky, something that might not work, or may work differently than expected and minimizing that.

If doing something, and you have no clue what the results will be, you’re practicing art. If you are doing something measured, calculated, and have confidence of what the results will be you’re practicing science.

With enough practice, art becomes science. When it came to making cookies, bakers experimented with fats, cook times and temps, sugar amount, flour amount, egg amount, effects of baking soda, effects of baking powder, salt amounts. Eventually, making cookies became more science than art. Someone well-versed in cookies, can make a new recipe, and know pretty closely what the results will be.

Society doesn’t necessarily need a lot of painters, sculptors, and potters, but it could benefit from an overwhelming amount of artists, people who are willing to take a risk that something may not work.