When an artist or inventor creates something truly original, we tend to envision it as a thunderbolt, a flash of genius striking from above. Imagine Picasso painting La Demoiselles D’Avignon, the first Cubist work, with its startling multiple angles and unprecedented gorgeous weirdness. How did that happen?
That’s one of the questions that Time magazine’s special issue The Science of Creativity, edited by my friend (and Gotham student!) Richard Jerome, tries to answer. It’s a fascinating read, full of insights into how and why humans make art, tell stories, and invent things. Continue reading “On Creativity”
Recently I opened an essay by a student, started reading, and my heart sank. Not because the writer’s story was poorly written (it was gorgeous), or because the subject was difficult. No. It was because the student opened with a three-page apology for daring to write their story at all. Continue reading “Your Story”
Awhile back, I wrote a very short essay that was mostly about wintertime and my mother, but also included a scientific reference. When it was about to be published, I felt it necessary to confirm that science with sources from Cal Tech, Space.com, and NASA.
What was the highly technical data I was checking so obsessively? That Earth’s orbit around the sun is elliptical. Continue reading “Writing About Science”