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Innovation Generation

(Oxford | Hardcover | March 1, 2012 | 262 Pages | $29.95 | ISBN13: 9780199892594)

"Roberta Ness teaches how to be a more innovative thinker. Now in a book as creative as its subject, Dr. Ness shows how, with a little know-how and a lot of practice, we can all bring out our more creative selves." - Harvey V. Fineberg, President, Institute of Medicine, National Academies of Science

"Great science depends on innovative thinking. Our societal creativity and progress depends on investing in such innovation. This book argues that innovation can be taught, fostered, and nurtured as a basis for accelerating innovation. It provides the framework for fostering creativity and a toolbox teaching it. This is an outstanding contribution to our collective success." - Linda P. Fried, Dean, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

"Can we teach people to be innovative? Roberta Ness demonstrates that the answer is a resounding 'yes.' This is a rare book that contains both a rigorous account of the elements that foster innovation and examples that will inspire scientists, teachers, students, and anyone with a sense of curiosity to become more successful innovators." - E. Gordon Gee, President, Ohio State University

"Dr. Ness shows us that learning to become a better innovator is indeed possible. This book is a tremendous help for scientists, policy makers, and students of all ages." - Arthur "Tim" Garson, Director, Center for Public Health Sciences, and former Provost, University of Virginia School of Medicine

"Innovation Generation: How to Produce Creative and Useful Ideas is a superb read. The path to a strong and vibrant America today and into the future will be through the inculcation of innovation among our students across all disciplines. Roberta Ness provides substantive tools to enhance our ability for critical learning and innovation. More importantly, she emphasizes how important it is for us to inspire and facilitate innovative thinking from our students and not to inadvertently suppress students from challenging mainstream ideas, even if they are our own." - Francisco G. Cigarroa, University of Texas System Chancellor

In the summer of 2011, Newsweek published a cover story about the "Creativity Crisis," decrying that American children are becoming less creative. President Obama has also demonstrated concern asking for more innovative contributions in his speeches. And many commentators have called for greater innovation in science to solve the major threats to humankind: global warming, the obesity epidemic, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, etc. The desire for new ideas in America is obviously at an all-time high, but how can Americans tap into their creativity and maximize their potential?

In INNOVATION GENERATION: How to Produce Creative and Useful Scientific Ideas, internationally renowned physician and scientist Roberta Ness bestows all the tools readers need to think "outside the box." Based on a very successful program at the University of Texas, Ness provides proven techniques to expand one's ability to generate original ideas. These tools include:

  • analogy
  • expanding assumptions
  • pulling questions apart
  • changing one's point of view
  • reversing one's thinking
  • getting the most out of multidisciplinary groups

Woven into the discussion are stories of famous scientists who found fresh paths to innovation, including groundbreaking primate scientist Jane Goodall, father of lead research Herb Needleman, and physician Ignaz Semmelweis, whose discovery of infection control saved millions. Finally, INNOVATION GENERATION shows how to combine newly acquired skills in creative thinking with the normal process of scientific thinking, so that one's new abilities generate the ideas of tomorrow.


Contact: Justyna Zajac
Oxford University Press

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