Creativity Workshops

Embrace Innovative Thinking!

Take a creative approach to research and career development.
Night Science 2023 - Sameer Khan

Photo: Sameer A. Khan / Fotobuddy

Inspired by our successful Night Science Workshops during Wintersession 2023, the theory at the core of our Creativity Workshops is the distinction between two complementary aspects of scientific research, which French biologist François Jacob called “day science” and “night science.”  While day science is the executive domain of experimentation and hypothesis-testing, night science is the creative domain of exploration, idea-generation, and forming connections—and of interest to scientists and non-scientists alike.

Through workshops, editorials, and a popular podcast, Yanai and Lercher explore the “behind the scenes” creative process of scientific research and encourage you to embrace innovative thinking and apply an entrepreneurial mindset toward bold, disruptive research ideas.  

Learning Objectives

Seven distinct creative thinking tools are emphasized in the workshops. For each, you will review related core concepts, get a demonstration of their applications, and apply these tools in interactive, hands-on activities.

  • Improvisational Science
  • What is the Question?
  • Two Languages of Science
  • Import & Export of Ideas across Fields
  • Science as a Meta-Puzzle
  • The Data-hypothesis Conversation & Stone Soup
  • Evolution and Design of a Scientific Project

2023 Highlights

Itai Yanai
“Night science requires spontaneity. We need a sandbox for ideas–and the secret for enabling this is to find someone you can talk to. One-on-one’s are the best, because you can develop trust and be vulnerable with the other person. Together you can avoid being too critical by thinking of the conversation as an improvisation, like jazz or improvisational theater.” 

Itai Yanai, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Anne-Marie Maman
"It was fun to watch as the graduate students started to understand how the innovation mindset can open up the way they think about their research. It is a great tool to expand their research, but it is also a great skill to open up possibilities in life."

Anne-Marie Maman, '84, Executive Director of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council

2023 Speakers & Facilitators