Every year in September, we celebrate challenges to our ideas and sense of the world.  Often, we highlight banned books.  This time, we look at non-scientists who provided new perspectives on concepts scientists thought they knew well. The works of Auguste Escoffier, Marcel Proust, George Eliot, Igor Stravinsky, Paul Cezanne and Walt Whitman are featured. Each of these individuals knew, saw, heard, or tasted something the world at large had to learn to understand.

What does a cookie have to do with neuroscience?  For answers to this question and more information about our exhibit, check out these resources:

  • Cezanne, Paul (1839-1906). Cezanne Watercolors. OSU:ND1950.C4 A8413 1983
  • Eliot, George. 1872. Middlemarch. OSU: PR4662 .A1 1972
  • Escoffier, A. 1941. The Escoffier Cook Book; a Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery. OSU: TX719 .E8
  • Proust, Marcel. 1913. Du côté de Chez Swann. (Swann's Way) OSU: multiple translations
  • Snow, C.P. 1959. The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution. OSU: AZ361 .S56 1993
  • Stravinsky, Igor. 1913.  The Rite of Spring.  OSU: ML410 .S932 H55 2000
  • Whitman, Walt. 1855. Leaves of Grass.  OSU:  multiple versions
  • Lehrer, Jonah. 2007. Proust Was a Neuroscientist.  OSU:  NX180.N48 L44 2007 Jonah Lehrer was an aspiring neuroscientist. He started reading Proust's Swann's Way to kill time while experiments were working themselves out. In addition to meandering prose, he found a surprising convergence.  The novelist had predicted my experiments.  Proust and neuroscience shared a vision of how out memory works.  If you listened closely, they were actually saying the same thing. Lehrerâ's resulting book, Proust Was A Neuroscientist, describes artists who observed how the human mind works from their perspective. He suggests that their observations foretold scientific discoveries. Accepting ideas from different sources rattles some, but should remind us of the wealth of ideas if we only listen.