British academy


The Creative Process - A Multidisciplinary Examination:

Tuesday 24 January 2012, 6.00-7.30pm, followed by a reception
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

The first of three discussions, focusing in turn on the role of the creative process in sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Each discussion is chaired by Professor John Sloboda FBA, Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Oxford Research Group.

Much is talked about the importance of the Creative Process in the development of ideas and research, but how much do we actually know about what it entails? How do approaches to it differ across and within disciplines? What can academics working in different disciplines learn about the creative process from other fields? And how can the creative process best be nurtured?

Each debate will bring together a panel from the sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities respectively to contribute their perspectives to the theme considering questions such as:

  • What do we understand by ‘creative process’?
  • How is it understood and examined across the disciplines?
  • What can people working in different disciplines learn about creative process from other fields?
  • What are the results of ‘creative process’, who decides and can it be learned?
  • Do we unnecessarily fetish it?
  • Where would we be without it?


Professor Geraint A. Wiggins, Queen Mary, University of London; Dr Alison Prendiville, London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London; Professor Nicky Clayton FRS, Cambridge University and Scientist in Resident, Rambert Dance Company.

About the Chair: John Sloboda FBA, is Research Professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he leads a research programme on "Understanding Audiences". He is also Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Keele, where, over a period of 34 years he developed and led an international centre of excellence in music psychology, including founding the world's first specialist MSc programme in music psychology. He is author of over 150 publications including, most recently, the Handbook of Music & Emotion published by Oxford University Press in 2010. He has written on musical creativity, and has composed music for use by church choirs. Since 2003 he has devoted the majority of his time to efforts to better document the casualties of conflict, and has been Executive Director of the Oxford Reseach Group and a co-founder of the Iraq Body Count project.

The other two events in this series:

Wednesday 22 February 2012, 'The Creative Process - A Multidisciplinary Examination, Social Sciences'

Thursday 22 March 2012, 'The Creative Process - A Multidisciplinary Examination, Arts and Humanities'