What if da Vinci were alive?
By Joao Silveira, guest contributor
The year 2019 commemorates 500 years since Leonardo da Vinci's death. One of the biggest geniuses in the history of humanity, Leonardo brilliantly shifted through painting, sculpture, anatomy, music, architecture, engineering, poetry, botany, theater and any other subject that aroused his interest.
What would it be like if da Vinci were still alive today?
If Leonardo were our contemporary and in search of a job, he would probably face some difficulties. If he were hunting for a job in a company most recruitment agents would probably think that the inventor, despite his many positive attributes, is unfocused and has not followed a clear career path.
Due to his privileged intellectual qualities, da Vinci could apply for a job as a faculty lecturer, but even then, he would still find some obstacles. He would not come with the necessary titles and diplomas, or with the expected scientific publications demanded within the academic sector. Furthermore, which academic department would he be most suitable for? Which subject could he teach? Who could possibly judge the value of his achievements and the content of his resume?
It would be even harder if Leonardo, still in his youth, attempted to study in a traditional school like most of the ones we have today. I can picture him at an art or science lesson with a teacher exposing theoretical knowledge without any opportunity to experiment. Quite likely, Leonardo would be diagnosed with ADHD. He would be too curious, too unfocused, and always immersed in his own thoughts.
The celebration of 500 years since the death of one of the most important personalities of our history is the best occasion to reflect on the times we live in. We are probably going through a new renaissance, in which creation involves a combination of different areas of human knowledge, which include art, science, and technology.
Although schools, universities and the job market are not prepared yet to deal with transdisciplinary people like Leonardo, I am sure that it is exactly this ability to combine different areas and solve complex problems that will be the great intellectual and professional asset of the new generation.