(To comment on my recent Gresham College lecture please go to this post.)
A newspaper feature today ("My funny Valentine: Do opposites really attract?" in the Independent)
presents as its prime example of the attraction of opposites a couple com[prising an artist and a mathematician.
Are mathematicians and artists really opposites? I know many mathematicians and artists who get on. Why wouldn't they? Both professions require creativity, thinking for oneself, a willingness to challenge (or at least test) received opinion, perseverance in the face of difficulty, preparedness to wait for inspiration, and integrity. And sometimes, perhaps, occasional use of drugs for stimulation (the drug for choice of mathematicians being coffee, and the use generally rather more than occasional.)
The public perception that mathematics is routine drudgery should be challenged! Mathematicians and artists have a lot in common.