Careers That Combine Science & Art
By Dr. Mary Dowd Updated June 29, 2018
Although seemingly incompatible, art and science can happily marry. To make the point that art and science are complementary, the American Society of Microbiologists holds an “Agar Art” contest that invites scientists to create beautiful designs on agar in petri dishes produced by different strains of multiplying bacteria. Digital artists create intricate geometric designs, using mathematical equations to make colorful fractal images. If you do not want to abandon one interest for the other, then you may want to consider combined art and science careers.
Art and science are part of architects’ everyday world, as they design buildings, bridges and homes that are functional and yet aesthetically pleasing. Like artists, the architect needs spatial ability to envision a structure and develop plans, using freehand drawing or computer-aided design and drafting. Architectural scientists use math, physical science and the scientific method, in designing buildings that are earthquake resistant, environmentally friendly and long lasting. An artistic eye for beauty is needed to fashion stunning physical structures and also for designing breathtaking landscaping.
Medical Illustrator and Animator
Artists with a bent for science excel in illustrating medical and scientific manuals, books and websites for publishers, museums, pharmaceutical companies and veterinary schools, for instance. Medical animators who have art training, biochemistry and molecular biology classes may work in research laboratories, developing models of molecular interactions. Medical illustrators and animators take art classes in surgical illustration, medical photography and 3-D animation. They also train on computers and take science classes such as anatomy, physiology, pathology and embryology. Proficiency in art and science is needed to render realistic medical images and models of body parts and functions.
Art and engineering make up the core of industrial design. Top-selling products like cars, bikes, home electronics and furniture tend to be functional and visually attractive. New innovations are sketched out on paper and presented to manufacturers for consideration and market testing. Industrial designers with artistic training use computer-aided design and drafting tools to create instructions that machines can follow to make products.
Taxidermists apply their artistic talents, their knowledge of wildlife, and training in chemical solutions in their job of mounting animal displays for natural science museums or for personal trophy collections. Chemical preservatives are used to prepare a specimen’s skin for mounting on a mannequin form. Preparing an animal for display is a long, painstaking process that requires knowledge of anatomy, art and sculpture. The goal is to render a realistic, lifelike creation that accurately depicts the animal.