What are the obligations of science and art to each other?

Bruno Latour, philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist

Philosopher Bruno Latour reflects on the difficulty of bringing artists and scientists together in collaborative work. Such collaborations always fail, he notes, unless the artists and scientists can come together to address challenges that lie, in effect, outside their areas of specialization and expertise. When specific difficult challenges require the collaborating parties to seek answers outside their usual repertoire of skills and methods (“when artists and scientists don’t know what they are doing and where they are going”) such collaborations can yield groundbreaking results, by steering specialists from both domains toward a creative fusion that does not proceed from habitual or conventional approaches but which may generate new ways of thinking or seeing.


Bifrost gratefully acknowledges Prof. Robert Boschman of Mount Royal University and the leadership of the research network NIES for all their valuable work and support behind the scenes that helped make the interview excerpted in this video possible. Grateful acknowledgment is also made to Mount Royal University and the conference Under Western Skies 2016, where the interview was filmed.