Smarty Pants Podcast


A composer and a neuroscientist unravel the story of human creativity

By Stephanie Bastek | December 15, 2017

This week, Anthony Brandt and David Eagleman talk about the science (and practice) of creating new things. We share a lot with the other sentient beings on this planet—love, hunger, death, joy, family, jealousy, rage. There’s one thing, though, we do that other species, for whatever reason, do not: we innovate. We create. And we do so in a symbiotic way with other humans, building and improving on one another’s ideas until suddenly we’ve all got a supercomputer in our back pockets. So what’s at the heart of human creativity? Where does it come from, how does it work, and how can we get better at harnessing our own ingenuity?

Go beyond the episode:

Images from The Runaway Species illustrating some key concepts:

  • An architectural example of bending: Szotynscy and Zaleski's Krzywy Domek ("Warped Building") in Sopat, a Polish sea resort (Topory)

Tune in every two weeks to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.

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Our theme music was composed by Nathan Prillaman.

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