The Experience of Doing Science with an Artistic Spirit: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study

Krista Fogel


This paper focuses on the concept of extracognition. It reports a qualitative study that explored the perceived experiences of doing science with an artistic spirit through the voices of living scientists who also engage in the arts. The purpose was to understand how accomplished scientists who engage in the arts make sense out of their experience of doing science. Four highly able scientists with expertise in their field who also self-identified as actively engaged in the fine arts were given voice on their perceived experiences of doing science. Through hermeneutic phenomenological methodology using thematic analysis, four major themes emerged. This paper focuses on one theme, “Feeling Connected to Something More through the Arts.” Three sub-topics are explored in relation to extracognition: (a) intuition, (b) serendipity, and (c) spirituality. The role of the arts is emphasized in attaining such experiences. Educational implications, limitations and strengths, and future directions are discussed.

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