unravelling the muses

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New Scientist has a run of articles up about creativity. Most of the articles are only snippets, and you need to be registered to view the full article. (Which I am not, so I can't comment on the subscriber-only portion of the articles.)

The articles are spread between scientific and artistic creativity, interviewing mathematicians and songwriters, for example. There's also another article which asserts that the moment of inspiration is the same whether you're an artist or a scientist. Am I the only one frustrated by this? I have been battering my head against the "art vs science" wall pretty much most of my adult life, fighting pre-conceived notions that — apparently — you have to be one or the other. When the truth is that there is no great divide between art and science, that to be a good scientist you must be creative as well as methodical, and to be a good artist you must be methodical as well as creative. In both fields, you need to be open-minded and thinking on the edge as well as acknowledging what has gone before.

Okay. So the art/science dichotomy will always get a rise out of me. For all that, the study of creativity is an interesting one, and I'm disappointed that New Scientist didn't provide the full articles. I especially would like to see the rest of Margaret Atwood's tip on creativity.

One article that is provided in full is about creativity hotspots: the evidence that, despite the emergence of a global economy, scientific and technological creativity are more geographically concentrated then ever.

…talent does not just flow between countries. More precisely, it locates in communities, regions and cities. This has been the case for centuries: from Athens to New York, cities have long served as crucibles of invention. This is driven by a key social and economic force: when talented people come together, their collective creativity is not just additive; rather, their interactions multiply and enhance their individual productivity.

2 thoughts on “unravelling the muses

  1. Thanks for the links, Deb. Fascinating stuff and a timely reminder that I've been meaning to subscribe to New Scientist for ages.

    I totally buy the creativity hotspots thing. I swear all of New Zealand is one big hotspot!

  2. It's a great mag, isn't it? I used to love my print subscription.

    And if you think it's a hotspot, I am now more anxious than ever to visit NZ. (I can't believe I've not made it there yet!)

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