The Roots of Creativity and the Branches of Science

‘The Tree of Science’ is the title of an illustration from 1663, which shows the main branches of a tree with labels representing sixteen domains of science. Many of these domains still exist within the disciplines of science today. In this same illustration, there are eighteen labeled roots divided into nine divine attributes and nine logical principles. The divine attributes include such things as wisdom, will, virtue, and truth. These are essential qualities to humanity. They are internal, visceral, creative, and necessary.

It is interesting that the branches of science are dominant and drive our society today, while the roots of divine attributes take a back seat. Additionally, visual arts and creative aspects to our culture are pushed to the fringes of our society, while corporate, scientific, and technological initiatives thrive. This balance between collective knowledge and intuition is a conventional wisdom that is all too often forgotten in our modern world.

Diversity and mixed perspectives are imperative in generating holistic solutions to the challenges of our time. We must openly consider a balanced perspective between creativity and science. One way to begin this shift is to reframe our cultural mindset to include creative perspectives as equal contributions when compared to scientific viewpoints. When we rethink our approach to challenges and mix into the equation aspects that include meaning, purpose, and creativity we will get a different result.

As an evolution to the ‘Tree of Science’ I have developed ‘The Modern Tree of Science and Creativity.’ The exterior branches of science represents order, which speaks to the outer realms of our technological perspectives. The internal roots of creativity incorporates the chaotic, which references imagination and connectedness. Our visceral and internal aspects are grounded here. The balance between the branches of science and the roots of creativity is critical to our ability to see and interpret our world in a holistic manner.


Brigid O’Kane  |  |  ©2018 All Rights Reserved

3 comments on “The Roots of Creativity and the Branches of Science

  1. Very well stated! Being both an accredited scientist and an erstwhile artist, I would love to have a conversation with you about creativity and science.


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