The science of creativity in The Globe and Mail provided a reminder to me about Jacob Bronowski, the scientist/author who achieved a degree of fame in the early 1970s with his BBC documentary The Ascent of Man. It also introduced me to the writer of this compelling essay, the Canadian poet/essayist/short story writer Robyn Sarah. In the space of her short piece, she weaves together background on Bronowski, whom she describes as “mathematician, physicist, biologist, humanist, lover of the arts, incomparable teacher, passionate believer in progress;” a brief anecdote about her daughter’s reaction to a Leonardo da Vinci painting in a picture book and a thoughtful review of Bronowski’s collection of essays Science and Human Values. Originally delivered as lectures at M.I.T. in 1953, they explore, among other things, the nature of, and similarity between, creativity in science and the arts. Sarah describes Bronowski’s work in Science and Human Values as “dense with thought and information, but lucid in style and beautifully written.” The same might be said about her own essay. The science of creativity is part of the “Buried Treasures” series in The Globe and Mail’s excellent book section. Among other reviews, essays, lists and special features in this section is a new one, Summer is short…, in which a short story appears every week until Labor Day weekend. It’s being done in partnership with HarperCollins, and intersperses contemporary and classic writers. The most recent story is from Joyce Carol Oates, and next week’s will be by Herman Melville. A nice bonus in the book section from June 27 is the cleverly-titled Alain de Botton is packing your suitcase, as the ubiquitous de Botton lets us in on his summer travel reading.

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