Why Science Needs Art

By Raven Capone Benko

smithsonianmag.com 6 min

Art is a powerful tool for telling a scientific story. With many scientific fields dealing with the strangest of the animal kingdom—like creatures with a handful of eyes and bodies so different from our own—art can help us experience these hard-to-imagine parts of the natural world and shed light on new scientific discoveries.

The National Museum of Natural History’s Invertebrate Zoology department relies heavily on artistic imagination to show its often microscopic, sometimes deep ocean-dwelling and always bizarre creatures. From teaching curious museumgoers to adding creativity to the scientific process, art is an essential component of the science in the department and across the museum.

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