Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Jonah Lehrer and the Crisis of Knowledge Synthesis

by • August 22nd, 2012

Jonah Lehrer - Pop!Tech 2009 - Camden, ME

Jonah Lehrer is/was as big as it gets in science writing and two weeks ago proved the adage that the higher one climbs the farther the fall after admitting to some false content in his stories. This is bad news for him, but may be much worse for all of us interested in making science […]

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Marketing the Narrative of Complexity

by • July 6th, 2012

Sunset 2007-1

Complexity, by its very nature, is not a simple concept to communicate, yet it is increasingly becoming one that will define our times and may be the key to ensuring human survival and wellbeing in the years to come. If society is to respond to complex challenges the meaning of complexity needs to be communicated […]

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The Forward Orientation Problem With Complexity

by • June 26th, 2012

These approaches combine inward reflection — reflective practice — with an openness to the data that comes in around them without imposing an order on it a priori. The orientation is to the data and the lessons that come from it rather than its directionality or imposing values on what the data might mean at the start. It means slowing down, contemplating things, and acting on reflection not reacting based on protocol. This is a fundamental shift for many of our activities, but may be the most necessary thing we can focus on if we are to have any hope of understanding, dealing with, and adapting to complexity.
All the methods and tools at our disposal will not help if we cannot change our mindset and orientation — even in the temporary — to this reality when looking at complexity in our work.

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Garden of Cosmic Speculation: Designed by Scientific Phenomena

by • November 24th, 2011

@PamMoran points us to this amazing article and collection of images about Scotland’s “Garden of Cosmic Speculation.” The garden is in Dumfries in South West Scotland. According to Wikipedia “The garden is inspired by science and mathematics, with scul…

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Science House and the Imagination Age in Brazil

by • November 22nd, 2011

Josh and I went to the National Biosciences Lab in Brazil this past week to discuss Science House and the Imagination Age. Let’s just say they built their own particle accelerator on the site, and that’s just the beginning…

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Design Thinking and the Metaphors of Science

by • August 28th, 2011

Metaphors for design thinking provide us with a means of taking the messiness of the language, something discussed in previous posts, to a new place until we can find the language that is most appropriate. Until that time, science might offer one of the better means of conveying design, complexity and the creativity that comes when we apply them both to generating products and services.

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The Science of Design Thinking

by • August 27th, 2011

Andrea Yip, a designer and health promoter, provides a bridge between the worlds of science, with its emphasis on evidence and strict adherence to protocols, and design, with its flexible, rapidly evolving, yet often non-specific methods. Indeed, Andrea’s blog showcases many examples of how design and fields like health promotion fit together and differ. It is time for both designers and scientists to listen more intently to this conversation.

By using methods, theories, analogies and conceptual models that extend our thinking beyond the realm of conventional design and science, we offer opportunities to make things, better — and in doing so shape our world for the greatest benefit for us all.

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Innovation and Academic Science

by • July 1st, 2011

Universities haven’t survived hundreds of years by being risky, they have because they were safe (in spite of the occasional radical shift here and there). With complex social problems and the challenges posed by things like cancer, something risky is needed. Academics just aren’t positioned to embrace this risk unless the system changes — with them helping drive that change — to support innovation and not just talk about it.

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Communicating Science

by • June 10th, 2011

Rita J. King has a new post on the Science House blog about Alan Alda’s work teaching improv to scientists to help them better communicate their craft: For over a decade, Alda has hosted Scientific American Frontiers. After interviewing over 700 scient…

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Tiny Gray Planet with a Volcano

by • May 23rd, 2011

The Atlantic Magazine has a great animation of the recent Icelandic volcano eruption. The image is a powerful illustration of atmosphere, size and scale of the tiny planet we live on. [Picture of the Day: Icelandic Volcano Eruption from Space ]

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