Tradition and Innovation

How do scientific conventions influence creativity and innovation?

Disciplinary conventions powerfully shape the development of knowledge. They are often productive, promoting combinations of assumptions, topics, questions and methods that yield the greatest knowledge for the lowest cost. And yet, scientific conventions can outlive their utility. How and when in the life-cycle of a scientific paradigm do conventions limit scientific creativity and forestall innovation? And how can we stimulate creativity and foster innovation in convention-rich environments? In this project, we aim to show where, when, and why throwing off disciplinary conventions can expand scientists’ freedom to explore the most fruitful discoveries and innovations.

This core project and related projects opens the space for accelerated creativity and knowledge expansion by using Metaknowledge techniques to analyze scientific conventions and their impact upon innovation.