Discover the cognitive tools that lead to creative thinking and problem-solving with this “well-written and easy-to-follow” guide (Library Journal).
Explore the “thinking tools” of extraordinary people, from Albert Einstein and Jane Goodall to Mozart and Virginia Woolf, and learn how you can practice the same imaginative skills to become your creative best. With engaging narratives and examples, Robert and Michèle Root-Bernstein investigate cognitive tools such as observing, recognizing patterns, modeling, playing, and more.
Sparks of Genius is “a clever, detailed and demanding fitness program for the creative mind” and a groundbreaking guidebook for anyone interested in imaginative thinking, lifelong learning, and transdisciplinary education (Kirkus Reviews).
“How different the painter at the easel and the physicist in the laboratory! Yet the Root-Bernsteins recognize the deep-down similarity of all creative thinking, whether in art or science. They demonstrate this similarity by comparing the accounts that various pioneers and inventors have left of their own creative processes: for Picasso just as for Einstein, for Klee just as for Feynman, the creative impulse always begins in vision, in emotion, in intuition. . . . With a lavishly illustrated chapter devoted to each tool, readers quickly realize just how far the imagination can stretch.” —Booklist
“A powerful book . . . Sparks of Genius presents radically different ways of approaching problems.” —American Scientist
Operating on the arguable assumption that creative thinking is essentially pre-verbal, intuitive and emotional, the Root-Bernsteins (Honey, Mud, Maggots, and Other Medical Marvels) outline 13 "tools" that help translate spontaneous imaginative experiences into specific media, such as painting, music, scientific experiments and poetry. Among the techniques they identify and describe are "imaging," "abstracting," "body thinking" and "empathizing." Although there is considerable overlap between categories (for example, in the sections on "analogizing" and on "recognizing patterns"), the Root-Bernsteins succeed in defining each category's uniqueness. Freely acknowledging that they are not asserting anything startlingly novel, the authors present an impressive number of firsthand accounts of the creative process, from Albert Einstein and Merce Cunningham to Oliver Sacks and Charles Ives. Some may have trouble accepting the premise that all creative thinking--whether for poetic composition or scientific experiment, and regardless of the thinker's native culture or language--is "universally" categorizable, but the authors make a strong case for a view that is becoming increasingly popular. They conclude with a list of suggestions for how to transform education from the elementary level up so that it is better suited to our demanding, multidimensional culture.
mind blowing, life changing experience.