Martin Hopes to "Balance the Scales"
Left-Brain, Right-Brain, Whole-Brain
By ANGELA WAMPLER | A! MAGAZINE FOR THE ARTS | August 30, 2010Why contribute to the arts?
Mr. Martin says, "After almost 50 years as a practicing scientist involved in invention, discovery, innovation and creating new products, it has been my observation that the people who are good at these things are both left- and right-brain thinkers. Most people think scientists are heavy users of left brain practices (logical, rational, analytical, objective, look at parts); and, indeed, they are selected for these qualities and the educational systems stress them. For certain jobs this is good and desirable; but for jobs involving high levels of creativity, invention and discovery, a lot of right-brain qualities (intuitive, random, synthesizing, subjective, look at wholes) are needed. These are the qualities that we frequently assign to artists."
He continues, "When we expect U.S. scientists to create miracles of invention and to lead the world in these activities, they may be ill-equipped to do this. There are a couple of ways we may help the situation: educate our scientists with more right-brain courses or use teams of inventors (creators) containing a diversity of thinkers — both right- and left-brainers. Either way, I think it is wrong to continue to minimize courses in the arts which are heavy contributors to our supply of right-brain thinkers. My financial contributions represent a modest effort to balance the scales and create more whole-brain thinkers."
— ETSU Martin School Events in September
Jim Martin and ETSU's DeAngelis sit on stage with students in background which represent various art departments on campus.