The Everyday Life Intersection of Translational Science and Music
Kotarba, Joseph A.
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The purpose of this paper is to discuss the theoretical relationship between translational science and music. The relationship between science and music has been of great interest to philosophers, historians, and musicologists for centuries. From a sociological perspective, we argue that science and music are closely linked at the level of everyday life in contemporary biomedical science. Translational science is a scientific movement that aims to facilitate the efficient application of bio-medical research to the design and delivery of clinical services, and a qualitative approach inspired by symbolic interactionism provides the opportunity to examine the place of the scientist in this movement. The concept of the existential self provides a useful platform for this examination insofar as the reflexive nature of the existential self is the way the person’s experience of individuality is affected by and in turn affects organizational change. An ongoing qualitative study of an NIH-funded program in translational science has found that music can serve to help scientists maintain a balanced self in light of new expectations placed upon them and their work. We identify six ways in which scientists can use music to enhance their sense of self and their work.