Reforging Creativity, a guest post by Jay Hosler

Imagine a dragon. Let’s say that its scaly hide is a tartan plaid (you can pick the color). Imagine it has an enormous set of handlebars sprouting out of its shoulders so that any giant who decides to ride it has something to hold onto. Can you see it? Great. Now give it big bunny ears so it can hear the cries of its victims better. That is a weird dragon, but you know the strangest thing about it? It has never, ever existed anywhere except in your brain. Right now. How is it possible that the four-pound glob of gray Jell-O between your ears can create and visualize something so totally disconnected from reality? We don’t really know yet, but I suspect the people who eventually figure it out will have harnessed the creative power of science and art.

My day gig is as a neurobiology professor at a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, but at night I write and draw graphic novels about the natural world. For most of my adult life I have straddled what many people consider two different worlds: science and the arts. My scientist friends think it is weird and cool that I make art and my artist friends think it is weird and cool that I do science. The assumption is that the two areas are fundamentally different and that bridging them is somehow unique. But is it? Or is that perspective the result of the way we’ve all been taught? Let’s imagine where humans were 15,000-17,000 years ago when the Lascaux cave painting were made.