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 11: Scientific Careers in Time and Space

Gunnar Törnqvist


11. Scientific careers in time and space Particularly in our time, the emergence of creativity cannot be predicted on the basis of a specific place. A creative process can be tied to one place or one institution for a limited period of time only. Nor can it be taken for granted that creative people are affected by the settings where they gain prominence or are temporarily affiliated. Conventional maps are inadequate instruments when the focus of study shifts from conditions to processes. The observations that appear in various autobiographies have been schematized in several time-geography diagrams. Such diagrams are well suited to identifying common features rather than peculiarities in the lives of different people. Particular attention will be paid to information that recurs in many autobiographies – a record of events and removals that many Nobel laureates regard as having been integral to the development of their creative ability. 11.1 Time-geography Torsten Hägerstrand of the Department of Social and Economic Geography at Lund University 141 M2809 - TORNQVIST 9781781001509 PRINT.indd 141 16/11/2011 14:10 142 The geography of creativity says that he began to think in terms of timegeography back in the 1940s.1 But the approach did not make its breakthrough until the 1960s. Hägerstrand and a group of doctoral students developed new theoretical tools and expanded the scope of time-geography to include different applications. Gradually, the new approach engaged more and more researchers in Sweden and abroad. A research setting and school of ideas emerged...

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