Health & Fitness
TIME The Science of Creativity

TIME The Science of Creativity

TIME The Science of Creativity

Creativity is one of the most human of qualities. But what is creativity, and what makes us creative? The Science of Creativity takes a look at both the science and the art of this world-changing trait—how we define it, how we measure it and what encourages it. With insights from the editors of TIME, this new Special Edition features thought-provoking articles on the meaning of creativity, its part in human history and its role in our future. Four distinct sections—“The Creative Animal,” “The Creative Mind,” “Creativity in Action” and “Creativity at Any Age”—are filled with clear explanations of scientific theory, insights into human psychology and tips on learning and parenting to encourage creativity in our children and ourselves. With dozens of illuminating full-color photos, illustrations and infographics, this Special Edition is a must-have for anyone who wants to understand the human mind and its capacity for ideas and connections.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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$22.30(Incl. tax)

in this issue

6 min.
striving for the new

ARE YOU CREATIVE? IT’S A QUESTION MANY OF US have heard at some point in our lives, and whether we’ve answered it with hubris, hesitation or humility, our reply was likely informed by some common preconceptions about the very notion of creativity. The term carries a kind of mystical aura, its special power imbued with a touch of the divine. After all, creativity supplies the first verb of the Bible—“In the beginning, God created …”—and, of course, the deity itself is alternatively dubbed the Creator, nowhere more famously than in the Declaration of Independence, in which He/She endows us with those “certain inalienable rights.” Advocates of intelligent design survey the universe, marvel at the exquisite celestial choreography and—even if they do believe in science and the big-bang theory of cosmogenesis—insist…

12 min.
this is your brain on creativity

DON’T BE TOO AWED BY THE WONDER OF CREATIVITY. Much of it is simply moving matter around—a bit of clever rearranging. A Chippendale cabinet is nothing more than a transformed tree. The landscape artist, even a Van Gogh or Monet, did not invent the flowers—he just ran with them. And the most succulent hunk of beef bourguignonne you ever whipped up seems a lot less remarkable when you accept that somebody already spotted you the cow. You were not responsible for creating so much as a single molecule in your final product. But what about the ideas that guided the way you manipulated that matter? The shape the cabinet would take—its whorls and lines and its final umber color materialized in a brain before they materialized in the world. The same…

11 min.
learning from leonardo

YES, LEONARDO DA VINCI WAS A GENIUS: WILDLY imaginative, passionately curious and creative across multiple disciplines—painting, sculpture, architecture, anatomy, aeronautics, engineering. Yet the word “genius” oddly minimizes him by making it seem as if he were touched by lightning. His early biographer, Giorgio Vasari, a 16th-century artist, made this mistake: “Sometimes, in supernatural fashion, a single person is marvelously endowed by heaven with beauty, grace, and talent in such abundance that his every act is divine and everything he does clearly comes from God rather than from human art.” In fact, the self-taught Leonardo’s genius was wrought by his own will and ambition. It did not come from being the divine recipient, like Newton or Einstein, of a mind with so much processing power that we mere mortals cannot fathom…

1 min.
da vinci’s notebook

12 min.
under the hood of creativity

SEVERAL HUNDRED PEOPLE SCRAMBLE IN A CONTROL room in Houston, trying to save three humans ensnared in outer space. It’s 1970, and Apollo 13 is two days into its moonshot when its oxygen tank explodes, spewing debris into space and crippling the craft. Fuel, water, electricity and air are running out. The only working part of the craft is the lunar module. NASA has simulated many possible breakdowns, but not this one. A day and a half into the crisis, carbon dioxide reaches dangerous levels in the astronauts’ tight quarters. The lunar module has a filtration system, but all of its cylindrical air scrubbers have been exhausted. The only remaining option is to salvage unused canisters from the abandoned command module—but those are square. How to fit a square scrubber into…

1 min.
the creative mind

“I tend to gather strong visual inspiration while having verbal experiences—reading an interesting article or well-written phrase, glimpsing a clever book title or overhearing a random pairing of words. Mental pictures appear!”—Leigh Wells Wells has been creating images and lettering for advertising, design, publishing and editorial clients in the U.S. and internationally for more than 20 years. Her work has appeared in major publications such as Harper’s, the New York Times and TIME, including this special edition.…