An Audio Interview with Abbas Raza of 3 QUARKS DAILY

A couple of months ago, Adam Kampe of the National Endowment of the Arts wrote to me telling me that the theme of their upcoming quarterly magazine was going to be “the intersection of art and science” and that they had identified 3QD as a good exemplar and that he wanted to interview me for the magazine. We did the interview but then publication of the magazine was delayed because of the shutdown of the U.S. federal government. It has now finally been published, and here it is, in NEA Arts Magazine:

AbbasRazaAbbas Raza: There should be no dividing line between science and the arts. I think they should all be taught as equally important intellectual activities. And that’s what we have tried to do at 3QD; we try to find things that are interesting. It doesn’t matter what subject area they’re in.

Adam Kampe: That’s Abbas Raza, the founding editor of the filter blog, 3 Quarks Daily, or 3QD. Welcome to NEA Arts online. In this issue, we’re exploring the intersection of the arts and sciences. Blurring the line between these seemingly different worlds—art and science—is something 3QD does very well.

The original site praised by all sorts of heavy-hitting scientists such as Harvard professor Stephen Pinker and artists like David Byrne because it features such a unique and rich body of material. Just in the past month or so, I read an article about director Richard Linklater’s animated film, Waking Life; I stumbled into a documentary about the enigmatic Argentine, Jorge Luis Borges; I saw an article about how the brain generates consciousness, “How the Light Gets Out” and then of course there’s the series of point/counterpoints called Science vs. the Humanities. Poetry, philosophy, politics; it runs the gamut. The short video documentary of starlings in flight is one small example of the kind of art-meets-science material you can find at 3 Quarks. Okay, now back to Abbas Raza. He’ll explain how the blog works.

Abbas Raza: I felt very strongly that we should include a lot of science because science is often neglected by the literary humanities crowd, and I felt very strongly that we should look at all intellectual fields including those of science and so we started doing this. And 3 Quarks kind of took off in its readership and we got more and more readers and also some very prominent names like Richard Dawkins who wrote to us saying, “I really love 3 Quarks,” and that thrilled us.

More here, including the audio.