The Geography of Creativity

The Geography of Creativity

Gunnar Törnqvist

What is creativity and who exactly is creative? In this insightful and highly readable book, Gunnar Törnqvist attempts to answer these questions by arguing that geographical millieux are hotbeds for creativity and renewal – places where pioneers in art, technology and science have gathered and developed their special abilities.

Chapter 10: Nobel Laureates

Gunnar Törnqvist

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, geography, economic geography, urban and regional studies, regional economics


The chapter on ‘place’ (Chapter 4) discussed the ways that pioneers and entrepreneurs have gained renown in various parts of Europe throughout history. Artists, architects, composers, writers, scientists and other intellectuals often achieve fame in places other than their native surroundings. Many of them have been cosmopolitans. Periods of radical innovation have frequently been accompanied by geographic mobility. The same can be said about the people affiliated with the research settings described in Chapter 9. The next two chapters (10 and 11) focus on the sojourns of researchers and their association with specific places, as well as the dependence of creative ability on various milieux. A number of autobiographies provide the empirical material for this discussion, which is followed by a general analysis of information that can be gleaned from the material. 10.1 Nobel Prize Centennial Alfred Nobel’s will, dated 27 November 1895 in Paris (a year before his death in San Remo), stated the following: 129 M2809 - TORNQVIST 9781781001509 PRINT.indd 129 16/11/2011 14:10 130 The geography of creativity The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the...

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