Flight from Wonder: An Investigation of Scientific Creativity

ISBN : 9780199988792

Albert Rothenberg
248 Pages
163 x 235 mm
Pub date
Dec 2014
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Scientific breakthroughs have had far-reaching social and physical effects on modern civilization, yet until recently, there have been relatively few investigations into the nature of scientific creativity itself. Flight from Wonder reports the findings from an empirical study of 42 Nobel laureates in science from the United States and Europe concerning the creative processes that yield scientific innovation. To this end, Albert Rothenberg designed an interview scheme to delineate the content and sequences of processes that lead scientists to specific creative achievements. He conducted interviews with Nobel laureates in the fields of medicine, physiology, physics, and chemistry while carrying out matching interviews with a control group consisting of twelve accomplished engineers on the faculty of a leading engineering university. Rothenberg's results demonstrate that the Nobel laureates perform three distinct cognitive creative processes to achieve key formulations and discoveries; the detailed nature and structure of these findings were reviewed and corroborated by each of the Nobel laureates. To supplement his findings, Rothenberg engages with autobiographical accounts and work-in-progress manuscripts pertaining to the creative discoveries of outstanding scientists of the past including Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Max Planck, Neils Bohr, Hideki Yukawa, and James Watson. The book will interest students and general science readers fascinated by the development of scientific inquiry and innovation.


Chapter 1 - The Search for Creativity
Chapter 2 - Research on Creativity: Scientific and General
Chapter 3 - Empirical Background and Bases for the Investigation
Chapter 4 - The Janusian Process in Scientific Creativity
Chapter 5 - The Homospatial Process in Scientific Creativity
Chapter 6 - The Sep-Con Articulation Process in Scientific Creativity
Chapter 7 - Creative Emotions and Motivations
Chapter 8 - Empirical Design: Methodology and Subjects
Chapter 9 - The Janusian Process in Creative Discovery
Chapter 10 - The Homospatial Process in Creative Discovery
Chapter 11 - The Sep-Con Articulation Process in Creative Discovery
Chapter 12 - Creative Emotions and Scientific Discovery
Chapter 13 - Collaborators
Chapter 14 - Developmental Background
Chapter 15 - Comparison Control Group
Chapter 16 - Flight from Wonder

About the author: 

Albert Rothenberg, Harvard Medical School.

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