Science versus Arts – which is better?

Science Versus Arts- Which is more useful/valuable to society?

In pragmatic and materialistic Singapore, science subjects have always taken a greater prominence and value in our society. Science subjects are seen to be able to offer one a better standard of living compared to popular belief that arts subjects are unable to accord one a decent living. This can be seen in how parents and the education systems are geared towards science education. For instance, we have various institutions that aim to harness an individual’s capacity in science education such as the NUS high school of Science and Mathematics, School of technology etc. Even entry scores are lower to enter science courses in Junior College and universities.

Science vs Arts


For Science

  • Science has the ability to improve our lives quantitatively compared to the arts. For instance, the latest development in medical science has been saving countless lives and improving our quality of living over the decades. In fact, the average life expectancy has increased steadily over the years across the globe, especially for developed nations with access to these medical technologies. For instance, US has an average life expectancy of 80 years, even with their seemingly unhealthy diet. On the contrary, arts importance to the world is harder to quantify in such terms. Their worth can only be measureable on a qualitative aspect, especially when it comes to the visual arts such as painting etc.
  • Science is able to help us understand the mysteries of the world better. Science has always been known as the hard facts that provide rational logic and thinking of what is occurring in the world. Science is able to help people understand the mechanisms in life. In fact, Science has become so powerful that it has extended into space, allowing mankind to dream beyond the physical space of the earth. It is also able to quench people’s curiosity about the unknown.
  • Science is essential for a society’s survival and economic development through innovation as science is able to provide the framework for critical thinking and logical reasoning. This is especially critical in aspects like engineering, medical and even in food and science industries. Innovation is essential in order to make continuous progress in these aspects to improve our lives. For instance, innovation in engineering is needed for us to find a more efficient manner in the processing of our oil etc. Medical innovation is necessary for to cure the multitude of diseases that are plaguing our world today, especially when we are continuously faced with the outbreak of epidemics.

For Arts  

  • Arts help to make the world a better place, especially since it focuses on the intricate nature of human relationships. It enables us to understand the complexities of life and to improve on our interpersonal skills. Arts provide the soft skills needed to interact with one another, in order to give one a greater competitive edge in the work place. As the world becomes so competitive, it is nearly impossible to get ahead with just a good grasp of hard facts and specialized knowledge.
  • Arts enable us to understand events from multitude perspective, helping us in our critical and analytical skills. Science tends to present facts in black and white terms, which may not necessarily, be totally representative of the world that we live in. Science tends to oversimplify everything in life, if everything is just presented as facts verus non-facts.
  • Arts help to shape our civilization and enable us to know about our past and identity. A sense of identity is more important especially in this globalized world, where national identity is fast eroding. Certain buildings and monuments are able to shape the experience of mankind, by propelling imagination that enriches and enhances society. They can serve to bring back nostalgic memories for society.

Another thing that students should consider is about how arts and science can correlate with one another in improving humanity. It should not be a debate so much about whether arts or science is better.

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