Creative Processes in Science and Technology: Insights from
Google Tech Talk May 14, 2009 ABSTRACT Creative Processes in Science and Technology: Insights from Visual Arts. Presented by Dr. Julio M. Ottino. Creativity is essential in art, in science, and in technology. But in what way is creativity different in these three areas, and in what way is it similar? Technology is about invention, making and building; science is about unveiling, revealing what may already be there. Philosophers, placing the emphasis on uniqueness, have declared that science is ephemeral and that art is permanent, and have placed artistic creation on the highest plane. Others have taken the same viewpoint. However, is this actually true? Or more pragmatically, are there creative processes and lessons that can be transferred across domains? In what ways do the domains intersect and enrich each other? Julio M. Ottino argues that artistic creativity reveals processes that hold lessons for scientific and technological creativity. Dr. Julio M. Ottino is the dean of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University where he holds the titles of Distinguished Robert R. McCormick Institute Professor and Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Born in Argentina he had a career as an artist before he moved to the U.S. for his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. He then held a faculty position at UMass/Amherst and held chaired and senior appointments at Caltech, Stanford, and the University of Minnesota. He joined Northwestern in 1991 and was chairman of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering from 1992 to 2000. He was the founder and co-director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems.