“I had imagined the physicists to be cool, clear, unemotional men and women who looked down on nature from a clinical, detached view point - people who reduced a sunset to wavelengths and frequencies, and observers who shredded the complex of universe into rigid and formal elements. My error was enormous. I began to study the works of people with legendary names: Einstein, Bohr, Schrodinger and Dirac. I found that here were not clinical and detached men, but poetic and religious ones who imagined such unfamiliar immensities as to make what I have referred to as the `paranormal' almost pedestrian by comparison.”
“Science is the Literature of Truth.”
Aldous Huxley published Literature and Science in 1963. It was a brilliant attempt at the harmonisation of science and literature. Huxley argued that despite the differences in language and method, both groups should foster understanding and mutual appreciation. Huxley wrote, "If I could be born again and choose what I should be in my next existence, I should desire to be a man of science...." According to Harold H. Watts, Huxley’s writings are "the work of a man who is meditating on the central problems of many modern men." Although it may be challenging to “incorporate the hypotheses of science into harmonious, moving and persuasive works of art," he hoped that "sooner or later the necessary means will be discovered, the appropriate weapons will be forged, the long-awaited pioneer of genius will turn up and... point out the way."
IAISS draws its inspiration from Huxley’s vision of an integral appropriation of the deeper meanings of reality aided by science and literature. The fragmentary understanding of knowledge postulating irreconcilable domains for science and literature is remnant of the old fashioned specialist determinism which is no longer tenable in the emerging paradigms. The opaque depth and symbolism of the scientific language can be legitimately carried on to its deeper domains by skilled Literarists. IASISS is taking a small step towards interface between science and literature. It involves using the insights and intuitions of literature in translating the scientific knowledge towards meaning. Exploring novel platforms for transmitting the scientific insights through poems, paintings, cartoons, plays, etc., to the larger public also is an ambitious mission for the IAISS.