Fostering creativity

A fascinating snippet from a review of two books about the race to split the atom by Freeman Dyson in the New York Review of Books. Regular readers of Purposive Drift will recognise why this quote appeals to me:
“The culture of the Cavendish was strongly paternalistic. Rutherford took fatherly care of his students and imposed strict limits on their hours of work. Every evening at six oclock the laboratory was closed and all work had to stop. Four times every year, the laboratory was closed for two weeks of vacation. Rutherford believed that scientists were more creative if they spent evenings relaxing with their families and enjoyed frequent holidays. He was probably right. Working under his rules, an astonishingly high proportion of his students, including Cockcroft and Walton, won Nobel Prizes.”

One thought on “Fostering creativity”

  1. A great quote – thank goodness there are always people around who know how to create good conditions for creativity – and many of the components are about human needs – like time to cook ideas in real life, rather than our current overworking culture. The work hard myth is just an excuse to treat people badly, and it never works.

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