Increasing Creativity in Research

Post by Savannah Warner

To be in the science field one has to be creative, but creativity does not come overnight it takes effort and dedication even on the toughest of days. I found the perspective that anyone can learn to be creative quite startling and unrealistic at first. Once Loehle continued to write how to do it though it does make sense, one just has to be devoted and interested. “Most people can learn to be far more creative than they are.” (Loehle) Creativity is a trait that anyone and everyone can learn. I think it is especially important for scientists in our day and age to be more creative, to explore new and unfound ideas.

GIF of a boy sitting at a desk and throwing a paper airplane. A lightbulb appears in the corner. Text reads: Boredom; “Boredom or inactivity is a seriously underrated part of being creative”
Boredom can cause the brain to think outside the box and expand the understanding of the individual in a way that otherwise would not be capable. Boredom allows room for creativity to be explored. Credit: Dana Starken ©2021

I also previously thought that boredom was particularly bad when working on something. The author disagrees and says that boredom is necessary, we have to let our mind wander to be able to come up with what is not there yet. “…slack time, quiet time, is a valuable part of the total creative process.” (Loehle) We have to think of the impossible or unimaginable to get there. When we think nothing is impossible, anything can become reachable.

With boredom we often are able to keep a steady pace in our research and no jump too far ahead when doing research or thinking about a subject. “This habit of jumping ahead leads too often in science also to solving the wrong problem.” (Loehle) We can often try to solve something quickly, and by doing so, do not solve the problem we had intended. This can lead to the solution of the wrong problem, or not something that is not even a problem at all.

Creativity in science communication is essential, it provides something different than what people are used to, and allows it to be shared in a way that is captivating to the reader and audience. By being creative through the process of your research, it also allows you to come up with ideas that are outside the box and new. Ideas that no one has come up with yet. Creativity allows one to bring new ideas to the table, to help the situation progress.


Dana Starken is an undergraduate in the Department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming.

references

Loehle, C. 1990. Increased creativity in research – inspiration or perspiration? Bioscience 40(2): 123-129.

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