The Geography of Creativity
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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.
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Chapter 7: The Scientific Revolution

Gunnar Törnqvist

Extract

7. The scientific revolution The role of scholars has evolved from ivory tower seclusion to active participation in social development. This chapter is devoted to science and research as engines of contemporary economic growth. While somewhat peripheral to the central theme of the book, the overview serves as an introduction to subsequent chapters, providing a transition from the general discussion of creative environments to analyses of particular research settings, including a detailed examination of the concept of innovation. 7.1 The great breakthrough Science pervades all modern social evolution. But there is also a trend in the opposite direction. Assessments of research and higher education often proceed from efficiency criteria and models originally designed for firms. The material foundations of economies, societies and cultures are as profoundly affected by current scientific progress as they were by the industrial revolutions and new technologies of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As Manuel Castells writes: It follows a close relationship between the social processes of creating and manipulating symbols (the culture of society) and the capacity to produce and distribute 78 M2809 - TORNQVIST 9781781001509 PRINT.indd 78 16/11/2011 14:10 The scientific revolution 79 goods and services (the productive forces). For the first time in history, the human mind is a direct productive force, not just a decisive element of the production system.1 Research and development account for a growing percentage of the value added, associated with manufacturing and trade. The trend – along with the expansion of formal education and...

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