ERIC Number: EJ903965
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Reference Count: 10
Little Science to Big Science: Big Scientists to Little Scientists?
Simonton, Dean Keith
Gifted and Talented International, v25 n1 p27-29 Aug 2010
This article presents the author's response to Hisham B. Ghassib's essay entitled "Where Does Creativity Fit into a Productivist Industrial Model of Knowledge Production?" Professor Ghassib's (2010) essay presents a provocative portrait of how the little science of the Babylonians, Greeks, and Arabs became the Big Science of the modern industrial world. This historical transformation directly shaped the very nature of scientific creativity. In reading Ghassib's article, however, the author notices that the analysis concentrated on the physical sciences, and especially on physics. The biological, behavioral, and social sciences are completely ignored. Given the exceptional status accorded physics and its most outstanding practitioners, this emphasis would seem quite justified. Even so, if the aim is to understand the changes in human creativity over the course of recent history, this particular focus may not be optimal. Creativity is manifested in all of the sciences, as well as in the arts and humanities. Even more critically, different domains of creative achievement may feature variable amounts of creativity. To see how this is so, the author turns to a philosophical problem that is over a century old. In sum, Ghassib's (2010) analysis may indicate how creativity can become co-opted by sociocultural status. If so, the author contends that it is a narrative of creative decline rather than ascent.
Descriptors: Creativity, Social Sciences, Physics, Scientists, Humanities, Science Instruction, History, Sociocultural Patterns, Science Education
World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. The University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E9, Canada. Tel: 204-789-1421; Fax: 204-783-1188; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: https://world-gifted.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A