About the Author
What does it mean to be creative? Is there anything that links the thought processes of the world’s greatest artists – like Picasso – and the world’s greatest scientists – like Einstein? And if so, what is it? Can it make us more creative? This has been the subject of my research for several decades.
With this as my jumping off point, I have looked into several different fields, beginning with the notion of aesthetics.
What is beauty? How do scientists use visual imagery to make their discoveries? How does the mind form images? How does it recall and process them? What makes a theory or an equation beautiful?
I have found that the best way to look into creativity and the creative process is by examining the histories of some of the world’s greatest scientists and artists and from there to work towards a theory of cognitive science for creative thinking. Seeking out what they have in common is a way of discovering how the mind works at its most creative.
This has been the subject of several of my books, including Insights of Genius: Imagery and Creativity in Science and Art, Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time and the Beauty that Causes Havoc, Empire of the Stars: Friendship, Obsession and Betrayal in the Quest for Black Holes, and my recently published, Deciphering the Cosmic Number: The Strange Friendship of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung, which explores how through Jung’s psychoanalysis, Pauli came to understand his creative powers while at the same time enabling him to cope with his complex life.
Can we improve our own creativity?
Are there practical ways to improve our own creativity? This has proved to be a practical spin-off of my research. I am currently putting together some practical proposals which should be of considerable interest to the business community. Among my consultantships on this topic has been Microsoft. It involved setting up a programme which encouraged their IT staff to think of their visual representations as a component of art and technology.