June 23, 2016 8:31 pm

What can we learn about creativity from Albert Einstein and Johannes Kepler?

Illustration of science arising from the mind of man

If you ask people what is the most creative, innovative city in Texas, it’s not surprising how many people will say Austin.

It’s the host city to SXSW and Fun Fun Fun Fest, it’s the home of the most exciting music scene in the southwest, and its local tech scene has even earned the nickname “Silicon Hills” as it steals high tech and biotech jobs from other tech-centered cities across the US.

So perhaps it’s not a surprise that the subject of this Friday’s episode, StarTalk Live! at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin with Bill Nye, is an exploration of creativity and innovation in the Internet age.

To help unravel the mystery of creation, host Bill Nye and co-host Eugene Mirman invited two professors from the University of Texas, innovative thinking expert Dr. Roberta Ness and cognitive psychologist Dr. Art Markman. Together with comedian Maeve Higgins, they explore the factors that may lead to innovative breakthroughs, from the balance of knowledge and naiveté, to a childlike willingness to sacrifice reputation for discovery, to the benefits of a culture that values innovation, to the less glamorous, but all consuming approach that takes years of deep thought and hard work.

For me, the two most interesting discussions revolved around Johannes Kepler and Albert Einstein. Kepler’s laws of planetary motion informed the work of Isaac Newton decades later, and Einstein’s annus mirabilis, or “year of miracles,” during which he published four articles, each of which forever changed how we look at our universe, including his special theory of relativity.

This is the second time we’ve brought StarTalk Live! to Austin, and after a show like this, it’s a safe bet that we’ll be heading back there again, just like we do for Boston, or San Francisco for Sketchfest every year.

And, speaking of regular StarTalk Live! venues, keep in mind that our next show at the Beacon Theatre in NYC is coming up on September 15. Good seats are still available, and you can buy them here.

But tomorrow, you can join us at 7pm EDT for StarTalk Live! at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin with Bill Nye, right here on our website and on iTunes Podcasts, SoundCloud, Google Play Music, Stitcher and TuneIn.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more