Interview of Roger Malina by Mark Peljhan April 17 2008

MP: Could you explain us the history and the main visions behind the Leonardo Organisation and its Publications , such as the Leonardo Journal, now celebrating its 40th anniversary. ?

RM: The Leonardo organization was founded by a group of artists and researchers who were interested in promoting new kinds of contact between artists and scientists and engineers. At that time the public discussion was framed by C.P. Snow’s concept of the two cultures, and importantly by the idea of science literacy as an important element of economic development and public policy.

At that time there were no more than a hundred artists and composers who had any access to computers and other new technologies entering scientific research. The Leonardo group was led by Frank Malina, who had a hybrid career both as a research engineer in astronautics and as a professional artist in the Paris kinetic art scene in the 1950s. He had also helped set up UNESCO in the late 1940s and had seen the value of international networking in science, which was largely lacking in the arts.

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