Reinventing Wonder: An Interdisciplinary Study on the Beauty in the Small and Ordinary

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Mary Anderson, Hope College

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In an age when scientific discovery has exploded exponentially, society has become numb as discovery after discovery is churned out of academia and the research world, threatening to lose the awe-factor for the accomplishments brought through the great minds and technologically advanced equipment of today. The question begs to be asked, “What is our calling in being involved in science and discovery in the 21st century? Is the sole, functional purpose to aid in the ways our lives can be enhanced to become stronger, healthier, and more affluent?” While indeed an respectable role, this project aims to rejuvenate the wonder and fascination in the beauty of scientific discovery. Engaging interdisciplinary studies that bridge the sciences and humanities, this project excavates the way poets and philosophers contemplate the world, specifically the beauty that is overlooked in the ordinary and small. Inspired by images of chemical compounds and everyday objects taken at a nanoscale resolution using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), a narrative will take shape through a collage of chemical research, philosophical musings, and poetry, challenging others to rethink what is often classified as “mundane” and “ordinary”. This project is a collaboration on the way poets see the world, the beauty that is often overlooked in the ordinary and small, and the power of an image.

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