Friday, June 18, 2010

The cradle of true art and true science

Einstein wrote that "the most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious—the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science". With this in mind, today we begin a semi-regular series of postings on the topic of science and culture.

We start today with a nod to all of those who are currently sitting state examinations in Ireland or who have just finished. The science exams have begun and are being reviewed elsewhere. The higher-level English paper however included a poem by the Dublin poet Paula Meehan and is just the sort of thing that this series of posts will cover. As Einstein also said: "The greatest scientists are always artists as well"

3 comments:

Anonymous June 26, 2010 at 5:36 PM  

GOOD TO SEE POETRY FEATURED ON A SCIENCE SITE — INTERESTINGLY, PAULA MEEHAN WAS RECENTLY A GUEST SPEAKER AND WORKSHOP CONVENOR AT CALTECH.

YOU DO NEED TO PROOF-READ MORE CAREFULLY, THOUGH. YOU HAVE 'USELESS' WHERE THE POEM HAS 'USEFUL' IN LINE 12!

Science Writer July 3, 2010 at 4:15 PM  

Thanks for the comment. The text is taken (as an image) from the Leaving Certificate English examination 2010. Perhaps the State Examinations Commission (www.examinations.ie) need to know about it, if it is indeed an error.

Eoin Lettice January 31, 2012 at 7:32 PM  

There was indeed an error on the original exam paper. From the marking scheme:

"There is a typographic error on line 12. The word 'useless' should read 'useful'.
Expect candidates to base their answers on the version of the poem presented on the
examination paper.
Candidates whose answers are based on demonstrable knowledge of the poet’s original
wording, which uses the word 'useful', will have their answers accepted as being equally
valid.
All candidates will have their answers rewarded in accordance with their merits.'

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