Dr Tilly Blyth: How has art influenced science?

Dr Tilly Blyth, Head of Collections & Principal Curator at the Science Museum, discusses art’s relationship with science: as an observer, friend and critic.

Science and art have not always been separately defined. Leonardo Da Vinci studied anatomy, neuroscientist Cajal created beautiful drawings of the cells in the cerebellum and hippocampus, and the painter John Constable observed the skies with an almost scientific study.


Though their pursuits have diverged into distinct fields, the relationship between art and science has remained tightly woven together.

Documenting the history of this tumultuous relationship is The Art of Innovation. Comprised of a 20-part BBC Radio 4 series, an exhibition at the Science Museum and an accompanying book, The Art of Innovation shows how scientific discoveries have influenced, and been influenced by, artists and the general public.

Editorial assistant Amy Barrett visited the Science Museum’s Dana Research Centre and Library to meet the Head of Collections & Principle Curator at the Science Museum and the co-host of The Art of Innovation radio series, Dr Tilly Blyth.

The Science Museum’s major free exhibition runs from now until the 24 January 2020. You can also read 20 stories from the history of art and science in The Art of Innovation (£25, Transworld).

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Take a look at the exhibits Tilly mentions:


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