[Physicist Rolf] Landua is a firm believer in the power of art to help science, namely when it serves as PR.
Which says to me the project is bound to disappoint, and at best be wildly inefficient. We've had a conversation recently on lablit about the expectation that young scientists must produce, chop-chop, or leave the bench, and why young writers aren't treated the same way. Neurograd wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but writing students pay their own tuition for the most part, right? So, if someone is willing to shell out the $150k for a writing degree, I would say that's their prerogative, and if they want/need to take longer to finish that degree, then so be it. But if I were a professor, department, or funding agency and I were paying for a student's tuition (plus a stipend to boot), I would expect that a reasonable level of productivity should be maintained.
Add that sense of responsibility to funding to a sense that people will be much friendlier to science if only they understand it, and I think there's a slow train wreck waiting to happen in any such sci/art programs.
I don't know that the scientists involved understand this is not work with reliable freelancers, people who get a contract and feel obliged to turn out a certain kind of product. That there's no knowing what an artist might do with exposure to science that's meant to enlighten them and turn them into champions. Yes, you might get something useful as PR out of it, though if it's any good it's unlikely it'll be useful PR for anything. It might also be entirely irrelevant to CERN or whatever other agency is involved; it might be openly hostile to the agency's projects; it might deeply misinterpret the work.
I think these projects are best off involving artists already seriously interested in science and philosophy of science. Even then, PR, no, the work's not likely to be PR. A helpful complication, maybe.
The poem is Keats' "On the Sonnet":
If by dull rhymes our English must be chain'd,
And, like Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet
Fetter'd, in spite of pained loveliness;
Let us find out, if we must be constrain'd,
Sandals more interwoven and complete
To fit the naked foot of poesy;
Let us inspect the lyre, and weigh the stress
Of every chord, and see what may be gain'd
By ear industrious, and attention meet;
Misers of sound and syllable, no less
Than Midas of his coinage, let us be
Jealous of dead leaves in the bay-wreath crown;
So, if we may not let the Muse be free,
She will be bound with garlands of her own.