Fostering creative capital

Tue, November 16 2021, 11am
Alice Larson
Professor Emeritus
College of Veterinary Medicine

Event to be held via Zoom.

Our presenter for UMRA’s November 16 workshop will be UMRA member Alice Larson, professor emeritus in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.

Over the course of her career as a neuroscientist, she became interested in creativity and how people of all ages can enhance their creative powers. She developed and taught courses on the subject for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. 

Please register for this Zoom webinar at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, November 16.

Professor Larson describes the rationale for her UMRA presentation as follows:

“Our strategic advantage as humans has been our ability to learn and innovate. Success in many educational institutions focuses only on rote memorization and standardized testing. This fosters the spread of ideas. In stable situations, conformity is a survival advantage—the glue for our culture. But in times of crisis, we need innovation. Creativity leads to new ideas to handle new situations. 

“On average, societal IQs are increasing but creativity is decreasing. This is important individually because lifetime accomplishment correlates with childhood creativity three times more than with childhood IQ. It’s also important for our society. Machines increasingly do the labor and computers the analytical thinking. The challenge is to foster the creative capital that’s needed to thrive in these challenging times.

“To strengthen their creative ‘muscle,’ people need to be curious, ask questions, speculate on answers, and test theories rather than passively observe. This takes more time, is difficult to teach, and challenging to measure.”

Larson’s presentation will briefly review the obstacles to creativity and outline ways creativity can be developed and applied to everyday life.

To preview what she’ll be talking about, you can watch a two-minute video overview on YouTube of a six-week faculty development course that she led. [Find the link on]

Please register for UMRA’s Living Well Workshop at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, November 16, via Zoom, and join us for what is certain to be a fascinating and timely discussion.

—Ron Matross, UMRA president-elect

Event media

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