Re: [Histonet] Art vs Science

From:Larry Woody

I have heard the work describe as artistic before although I've never considered myself an artist while in the lab even though I've been tempted many times to photograph a slide and sell it on e-bay. I made my own X-mas cards over the holidays from scratch and got in touch with my artistic and creative side. What we do is somewhat an artform because it is creative but I don't think the line between art and science is as close as some may think.
     On the other note, I went into Histology specifically because there was no patient contact but that doesn't mean I'm not aware of the importance behind each and every specimen I handle. I've always treated every specimen as if it were my own and my life depended on it.

Pat Flannery  wrote:
  I have to agree with Barry on this one. While the science of 
histology can be learned, albeit sometimes with great effort, and 
those who have expended that considerable effort to acquire 
proficiency at tissue preparation and staining can be justifiably 
proud of their accomplishment, being considered an artist is 
recognition by others that your work transcends proficiency. An 
artist is not only a competent technician or craftsman, but also 
possesses an innate ability to produce work that is aesthetically 
pleasing and has value beyond the diagnostic. I would hope all of us 
would aspire to produce work that is not only acceptable and useful, 
but actually beautiful.

Personally, I can think of no greater compliment to a scientist than 
that his or her work is beautiful.

-Patrick J. (Pat) Flannery
Division of Nephrology (that's kidneys to you)
Box 3014 (that's NOT "PO" just "Box")
Duke University Medical Center (although I went to UNC-CH)
Durham, NC 27710
E-mail: (preferred)
FLANN002@MC.DUKE.EDU (also works)
Voice: (919)660-6863
Fax: (919)684-2929
Cell: (919)606-0163

Bet that's more than you ever wanted to know about me!

On Feb 5, 2007, at 8:54 AM, Rittman, Barry R wrote:

> I see nothing wrong in being called an artist.
> Artists if experts in their profession, use a great deal of science in
> their art.
> You are of course correct that what we do has a strong science footing
> but if we merely view what we do as science then something is lost.
> If you do not wonder at the organization of cells and tissues, the 
> color
> during staining then you are missing one of the benefits of the job.
> If you fail to see such beauty in your everyday work then please 
> look at
> some preparations of diatoms.
> These were arranged in a painstaking but artistic fashion and also
> provided a resolution check for objectives due to the uniformity of
> their foramina.
> Barry
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of 
> Breeden,
> Sara
> Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 8:21 AM
> To:
> Subject: [Histonet] Art vs Science
> I work for three vet pathologists in a State lab. My work has been
> described by one tech, as rotating med tech students rotate through 
> our
> facility, as an "artist". I find myself being very annoyed at this
> description of what I do. Although there is beauty in the end product
> as far as colors go, what I do is a science. I've never worked as 
> hard
> at anything as I did when I studied for my written/practical exam back
> in 1969. I sweat bullets! I earned that "HT ASCP" that I'm proud to
> add to my signature and calling me an "artist" is not complimentary as
> far as I'm concerned. And there's my two cents and Happy Monday to 
> all!
> I'm just happy that Joe is back...
> Sally Breeden, HT(ASCP)
> NM Dept. of Agriculture
> Veterinary Diagnostic Services
> PO Box 700
> Albuquerque, NM 87106
> 505-841-2576

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