Friday's Lecture: Emanuel Istrate

13. Januar 2023

We continue our Friday's lecture series with another talk by Prof. Dr. Emanuel Istrate entitled as "Creativity in the Sciences and the Role of Expertise". The talk will take place this Friday 13.01 in the PI4-Seminarroom at 14:00.

Creativity in the Sciences and the Role of Expertise

We all agree that creativity is important in the work of scientists, but what exactly do we mean by creativity? This seminar will summarize some of the work of researchers who have taken a scientific approach to understanding creativity. I will start by considering the definition of creativity, and will then discuss how we could measure creative abilities. Creativity was traditionally regarded as a psychological characteristic of an individual. More recently, however, researchers have also considered group aspects of creativity. For example, many ideas appear during research group meetings, where it is difficult to determine the one person who had a given idea. I will consider the timing of scientific discoveries, looking at “ideas whose time has come,” to discuss whether creative discoveries happen at random, or if they occur at predictable times. For creativity in the sciences, one particularly important question is that of expertise. Almost all major discoveries were made by scientists who had accumulated significant expertise in their field. How can this expertise be acquired in a way that doesn’t just involve memorization, and what kind of creativity can we expect from junior scientists, who do not yet have many years of expertise? I will conclude by looking at how the organization of research programs for doctoral students facilities the production of creative ideas.



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