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Nobelists to discuss creativity in science at workshop

What place does creativity have in science? Can it be nurtured?

These are a few questions that will be addressed by some of the world’s leading scientists, including two Nobel Prize winners, at the Creativity Spark: a creativity workshop for scientists.

The event will take place Monday, July 25, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in Room 233 of the Plant Science Building, and is free and open to the Cornell community.

“The fundamental goal of the workshop is to understand how creativity comes about and if you can teach people to be scientifically creative. The premise is that you can,” said John Parker, director of the Cornell Leadership Program for Veterinary Students in the College of Veterinary Medicine, which is hosting the event.

Hunter Rawlings, interim president and professor emeritus of classics, will give the opening remarks followed by a two-part discussion with four panelists moderated by Rick Cerione, the Goldwin Smith Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology.


  • Harold Varmus, the Lewis Thomas Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine, co-recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes;
  • Randy Schekman, Howard Hughes Medical Investigator, University of California, Berkeley, co-recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for work on cell membrane vesicle trafficking;
  • Lynne Maquat, the J. Lowell Orbison Chair of Biochemistry and Biophysics and of Oncology, University of Rochester;
  • Xiaowei Zhuang, the David B. Arnold Jr. Professor of Science, professor of chemistry and chemical biology and professor of physics, Harvard University.

The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A session.

“It’s important when you are mentoring students to provide inspiration and provide access to the very best scientists that we know of, and this workshop provides both those things,” said Parker. “Obviously, you can’t make Nobel Prize winners, but you can increase the aspirations and inspire students.” 

Media Contact

Melissa Osgood