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June 29 , 2008

Flight from Wonder: An Investigation of Scientific Creativity


Flight from Wonder reports the findings from an empirical study of 45 Nobel laureates in science from the United States and Europe concerning the creative processes that produce scientific discoveries. To this end, Albert Rothenberg designed an interview procedure 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 and carried out matching interviews with a control group consisting of twelve accomplished engineers on the faculty of a leading engineering university. Rothenbergs results demonstrate that the Nobel laureates use three distinct cognitive creative processes to achieve key formulations and discoveries; the detailed nature and structure of these findings were reviewed by the Nobel laureates. To predict his findings, Rothenberg engaged 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 readers fascinated by creativity and the development of scientific inquiry and innovation.
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