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Monday 30 April 2012

Creativity and Collaboration

Listening to Start the Week with Andrew Marr this morning I was struck by Jonah Lehrer's contribution on creativity but particularly by this:

"You can look at this in how scientific publishing has changed over the last 50/60 years.  It seems to be becoming a much more collaborative process that many scientists now argue that the era of the Lone Genius is now over.  Our problems now exceed the capabilities of the individual imagination so we now work together or fail alone."


"I think there is one thing to make very clear when one talks about Neuroscience, whether it's in terms of falling in love, or looking at a Rembrandt or having one of these incidents of insight, it is easy to look at these terms of research, to look at these pretty silhouettes of the brain with splotches of primary colour saying, "Here's what happens.  Here's the spot of activity when you fall in love."  We neuroscientists don't use the language of "Nothing but".  We don't say this is nothing but a surge of electricity in the V4 part of the visual cortex.  I think neuroscience, at this point especially, is just another way of knowing ourselves, is just another layer of description to add to our many other kinds of description."

Rachel O'Reilly went on to describe how she was "locked down" in a hotel with various other scientists from all over the world and they were given a variety of problems to solve.  She was extolling the virtues of this kind of interaction and collaboration among scientists - crossing borders, specialisations and dogma - working together, not failing alone.  I know it is a dream of a few of us Parent Advocates to be able to afford for such a "lock down" with various eating disorder clinicians.

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