Tuesday, 30 March 2010
The Luxury of Art
But one of the Guardian letter writers, Iain Morgan, Professor of Molecular Oncology at the University of Glasgow, insists that science is necessary, not to further knowledge, but because "without science and technology our country will lag behind others". Moreover – and this is his killer conclusion – "only by science and technology generating inventions and wealth can we afford the luxury of art". Why do I find this such a miserable conclusion?
Because art is not "a luxury", a by-product of wealth-creation. Art simply exists, it is. Art is fundamental, necessary, needs no justification, is the element in which sentient, intelligent human beings move like fish in a stream. It is not a by-product or an incidental consequence of anything. Given the current state of British universities where money-making is the summum bonum, I suppose it is not surprising that such ideas as that of the Prof. flourish.