In the video, Feynman tells an anecdote about a friend who said that "a scientist takes [a flower] all apart and it becomes a dull thing." Was Feynman right when he argued instead that science only adds to the "excitement, mystery and awe" of the beauty of a flower?
Knowledge and beauty
Rosie Sanders, an artist with a particular interest in flowers, agrees with Feynman: "I don't believe that knowledge detracts from beauty."
"Beauty [is] a shortcut word that we all fall back on to express our response to things we find visually stimulating," says Rob Kesseler, a visual artist and Professor of Ceramic Art & Design at the University of the Arts, London. As beauty is not a definitive term, he says this can make discussions about beauty difficult.
So does Kesseler agree that science reduces art to a dull thing? "No, certainly not. Science reveals new knowledge and insights, it is down to the viewer to use or ignore what is presented."