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From Synapse to Spark33:51 with Shivani Lamba
From the Science Museum Group to Holidaybreak, Edluminary and Forensic Outreach have worked with thousands of people to redefine how people of all ages engage with science. Shivani will talk about the science of creativity; how this galvanises the radical approach the team takes to formulating its celebrated educational initiatives (from workshops and summer programmes to apps) and consulting; and what this means for anyone looking to be inspired.
Hi everybody. 0:04 I know it's after lunch but 0:06 hopefully you'll still be awake throughout this talk and It can kind keep you going. 0:07 So thanks so much for coming to my talk say, 0:11 thanks also to the organizers of Highrise who invited me to come speak. 0:13 This is not necessarily something that I do that often. 0:17 I've learned so much here already over the past day, couple of days or so. 0:20 And, hopefully, my aim now is to share with you a little bit about what I do as 0:25 well as my team's approach to creativity. 0:29 So my team is actually, we're actually the people at Luminary and Forensic Outreach. 0:31 Oops, sorry. 0:39 There we go. 0:41 So first, I'll start with a little bit about my background. 0:42 Back in the 90s when everything was perfect at least I like to think so. 0:46 I was an avid builder of robots. 0:49 So I was kind of maybe inspired a little bit. 0:53 By the stuff that Ayana was talking about yesterday. 0:55 And I used to play a lot with the Lego Mind stores products. 0:58 Raise your hand if you've heard of those incredible inventions stems to Lego used. 1:02 Yeah, so, it inspired loads of us. 1:05 And I used to be a regular at Learning Smith so 1:08 those of you who might come from the states will probably recognize the store. 1:11 How many of you do? 1:15 Anybody? 1:17 Right, so this was an amazing educational toy and 1:18 game retailer that unfortunately shuttered its doors a long time ago. 1:21 But they were actually pioneers in having sort of open floor space for 1:26 children to actively engage with both their physical products 1:31 as well as their virtual products. 1:34 So, pre-Mac store, 1:36 they actually had sort of an entire computer lab that kids could walk into and 1:37 play sort of through the software bundles that they had available to them. 1:41 So that's kinda where I started as a child, like a lot of you, 1:45 and a little bit later, right before university, I was confronted with 1:50 a choice of choosing either neuroscience or computer science to pursue. 1:54 And what eventually led me down one road, 2:00 rather than another, was that I was conducting research in an HIV/AIDS 2:02 laboratory at the National Institutes of Health. 2:06 And I decided, because I was so fascinated by it, that I was a little more interested 2:09 in investigating biological viruses rather than their virtual counterparts. 2:13 So I eventually ended up writing my thesis in a topic of developmental neurobiology, 2:19 but I never really put programming aside. 2:23 I've always really loved to learn, so I continued it as a side project. 2:25 And while all of this was happening at university, I was actually recruited into 2:30 a small, fledgling sole-proprietorship called Forensic Outreach. 2:36 And at the time what they were trying to do is just one woman, 2:40 she was a forensic anthropologist, and 2:43 what she was trying to do is get students more engaged with STEM subjects. 2:46 So we see a lot of this disengagement usually in classrooms, 2:49 students look at science and 2:53 mathematics as something that is difficult to comprehend, and she was introducing 2:55 CSI as an interesting framework In which to unite all these disciplines. 3:00 So I came in, I helped manage that sole proprietorship, 3:05 I came in to devise and pilot new educational programs for 3:08 schools that were kind of based around the London and Greater London areas. 3:12 Long story short a couple of years later due to some great commercial interest that 3:17 we received I ended up formally incorporating it in 2013 and 3:21 the rest as they say is history. 3:25 So now I'm the founder of Edluminary and the co-founder of Forensic Outreach. 3:28 And what we do is basically try to improve the public's understanding 3:35 of complex topics in science and technology in really imaginative new ways. 3:42 The way that we do that is through workshops in part, 3:47 through consultation for museums and city attractions, and more recently, 3:52 we've kind of segued a little bit into toys and games as well. 3:57 So that's kinda the take-away part of this. 4:01 Now to explain a little bit more about the structure of our company, 4:04 basically Edluminary is now the new parent company of Forensic Outreach. 4:06 Forensic Outreach focuses specifically on topics within crime and security science. 4:11 So, the aim of my talk today is actually something a little bit different. 4:18 But I'll kind of go full circle and I'll reconcile all these themes. 4:22 The aim of my talk is to examine the origins of creativity in the human mind. 4:26 So obviously, I have this background in neuroscience and 4:31 I really wanted to examine where creativity actually comes from. 4:33 How does it manifest? 4:37 And the second aim is once we know where it comes from, 4:39 how can we use that to improve our best practices to generate innovative and 4:43 novel ideas on sort of a daily basis? 4:48 So how can we use that science to actually inform our work? 4:51 And then along the way, I'll share a little bit about the approaches 4:56 that my team takes in order to create the workshops that we do, 4:58 as well as the games and the toys that we're trying to develop. 5:02 So before I start talking about creativity and the brain, 5:07 I kind of wanna add a small caveat. 5:10 This is really important to me. 5:12 Because pop neuroscience is a really difficult thing to start talking about. 5:13 So pop neuroscience is where people often use scientific data, 5:19 usually this comes in the form of neuron imaging studies. 5:23 You often see FMRIS or PATSCANS. 5:26 And all of this data is often used to back up a number of really wild kind of 5:29 claims and the common criticism is that it's overly reductionist. 5:33 So one of the things that I wanted to impart today is that in my examination of 5:38 what actually happens on sort of a molecular and cognitive level, 5:42 I'm gonna try and convey the research findings as accurately as I possibly can. 5:46 For those of you who are interested in this kind of thing, I would definitely ask 5:51 you to read a book called Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience. 5:55 And the reason that I say that this is important is because 6:00 what we're kind of shown in the media about the human mind 6:03 really does to some extent inform what we believe our capacity is. 6:07 So it kind of gives us a limitation or 6:11 a framework that we think that we're working within. 6:13 And as we'll see in a minute, those types of frameworks can sort of be malleable. 6:16 It's not exactly sort of a fixed understanding that we have of any of this. 6:22 So it's still in development, as they say. 6:28 The first thing I wanna start with is this left frame, right frame concepts. 6:30 So, how many of you, by show of hands, have ever identified yourselves in this 6:34 way or have been told that you are one or the other? 6:38 Yeah, so this is a widely accepted belief. 6:41 That you have sort of a neural dichotomy that exists in the brain. 6:46 That you're either representative of one of two personalities. 6:50 That either you're analytical, or you're creative. 6:54 So this is beautifully designed advert and it really serves to depict this idea. 6:57 So here it says on the left, I'm a left brain, I'm a scientist, 7:03 a mathematician, I love the familiar, I categorize, I'm accurate, linear. 7:07 And on the other side where you have the right brain, It says I'm the right brain, 7:13 I am creativity, I am free spirit, I am passion. 7:19 So, we can read this copy and 7:23 I'm sure you're all thinking that there are probably significant issues with this, 7:25 I mean we got developers and designers in this room, the entire point of this 7:29 conference is that it's a hybrid conference to some extent and we kind of 7:33 intuitively know possibly there's something not quite right with this. 7:37 I'd actually love to show this to Dr. Barry Marshall, who's a physician. 7:44 He was the person to discover that Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria, 7:49 caused stomach ulcers. 7:54 So at the time the paradigm was set 7:55 If you had an ulcer it was because you were really stressed out. 7:58 And he was the one that kind of was a proponent 8:00 of the idea that it was this bacteria instead. 8:03 And because note, 8:05 he didn't have any animal models available to him to research that, he actually put 8:06 a concentrated culture in a glass and drank it to give himself an ulcer. 8:11 Now if that's not free-spirited, I don't know what is. 8:16 And on the other side of it, when it comes to things like accuracy and 8:20 attention to detail, I think that becomes a little bit nonsensical, 8:24 when you consider something like this. 8:28 So how many of you recognize this? 8:30 Right, so this is a masterpiece by Ai Weiwei, 8:32 he's a Chinese contemporary artist. 8:36 And I think a couple of years ago, 8:39 he actually filled up London's Tate Modern Turbine Hall, 8:41 it's this massive space, with millions of seemingly identical, but 8:44 actually completely unique, sunflower seeds and it's an incredible feat. 8:49 So, is any of this really true. 8:54 Well I think UCLs cognitive neuro-scientist, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore 8:57 said it best when she said that this theory makes no physiological sense. 9:01 And she ascribes its popularity to two things which I think are really telling. 9:07 The first thing is the rise of the self-help genre. 9:11 So, she says that these books kind of borrow a lot from neuroscience to add to 9:14 their credibility. 9:18 And the second thing is that we have a tendency to want to categorize ourselves. 9:19 So we want to be able to tell people that we're a specialist in something. 9:23 It kinda puts us at ease about what we do. 9:26 So let's just keep that in mind. 9:29 Now the important thing to recognize is that if creativity doesn't 9:32 live in a specific region or hemisphere of the brain the obvious question is then 9:36 how does it manifest, exactly. 9:41 And we'll talk about that in a minute. 9:43 But I think that the important part to remember is that creativity is probably 9:45 some underling process. 9:49 Like I said, it's an abstraction, it's the way that we understand how we think in 9:51 a certain kind of imaginative way. 9:55 But there is no polarity like this that exists. 9:57 Not at all. 10:00 So, this is a huge oversimplification, and I would urge you, really, 10:01 not to think about it in this particular way. 10:05 So, if we're confronted with this idea of looking at creativity as an abstraction, 10:10 where do we even begin to talk about that as far as neuroscience is concerned? 10:17 It actually starts with an explanation of how we learn. 10:21 So that's what I'm gonna start with, and 10:23 I'm gonna link it back to creativity in a minute. 10:25 So learning actually involves a process in the brain called long-term potentiation. 10:28 So the way neurons communicate in the brain 10:34 is by releasing chemicals into little gaps called synapses. 10:37 And the more neurons communicate with one another like this, 10:42 the more an association between these neurons are created. 10:45 So, practice truly does make perfect. 10:48 For instance, if you practice the piano pretty frequently, obviously, we kind of 10:52 know, there's sort of an accepted belief, and we kind of know this intuitively as 10:57 well, that that part of your plan will become more consolidated over time. 11:01 Now, what does this mean? 11:07 This actually comes back to something neuroscientists called Hebbian theory. 11:11 That cells that fire together, wire together. 11:15 This is actually the underlying process in a condition known as synesthesia. 11:19 And what synesthesia actually is where you have a situation 11:24 where if you stimulate one sense you create a sensation in another sense. 11:29 So that weird cross wiring of neurons that governs specific 11:34 senses in the brain actually make for some really interesting results. 11:39 And they think that this idea that 11:43 seemingly strange connections between different regions of the brain 11:45 probably underlies the process of creativity as well. 11:49 To kind of give you a little bit more background on what synesthesia actually 11:52 looks like. 11:55 A really popular form of synesthesia involves sometimes confusing well, 11:57 essentially visualizing colors when you are confronted with a particular 12:02 number or letter. 12:06 So a lot of synaethetes will say that the letter A is definitely red. 12:07 And they all kind of agree on this, which is kind of strange. 12:12 And another great depiction of this is Remy in one of my 12:14 favorite films when he's eating different types of food. 12:17 Obviously there's a lot of cross-wiring going on here when he's tasting the food, 12:19 he's visualizing that spectacular fireworks of different colors. 12:23 And it seems that something like this is going on when 12:27 we're talking about creativity. 12:30 It's random associations. 12:32 So, that's learning and how do we link it into creativity? 12:33 Well, the question now is, what are we actually looking for 12:41 when we're trying to study creativity in the human brain? 12:45 We can't just go to the brain and try and localize sort of specific things. 12:48 That's what I'm kind of talking about. 12:52 It's really reductionist to kind of go in and say that love or decision making or 12:54 guilt lives in a particular region of the human mind, it doesn't. 12:57 So you kind of have to look for some other relevant process and image that instead. 13:00 So there's a really amazing neuroscientist by the name of 13:05 Nancy Andreasen who's kind of the pioneer in this particular discipline. 13:08 And what she decided to do was to image, 13:12 using a Pet scanner, people free associating. 13:15 Because what she had found was that the more people free associated, or just let 13:20 their minds wander, the more likely they were to come up with interesting ideas. 13:25 It seems pretty simple for us to kind of grasp and that's exactly what she did. 13:28 And what she found out while this was occurring is that the most active regions 13:33 of the brain while people were free associating were the association cortices. 13:39 In a previous study, she found that creative people were also more 13:46 likely to draw interesting relationships between certain objects, 13:50 or think about things and associate things in really original new ways. 13:55 So the question now is if it's all about making associations, and that's what 14:00 creativity really is, and the process that underlies that is free associations, just 14:07 letting your mind wander, basically, then how do we kinda feed into that system? 14:11 What do we need to put into your brain to power that free association? 14:15 While she kinda answers that question too, she writes in the Atlantic that 14:20 many creative people are polymaths, people with broad interests in many fields. 14:24 And this is a common trait among her study subjects. 14:29 So we have the answer, in order to become slightly more creative possibly what we 14:32 should be looking at is supplying our brain with a continuous supply of new and 14:36 discreet information. 14:41 Which is why headlines like this is a bit jarring to read this, 14:44 because we do live in an age where we prioritize that specialization over 14:49 potentially having a broad knowledge of a variety of different subjects. 14:53 And possibly some people have speculated that this could be the reason why we see 14:57 in some arenas creativity or innovation slowing down. 15:02 Obviously that's quite contentious to say, 15:05 but that's one the issues that comes along with this. 15:10 So, If we've kind of identified neuroscientifically that an actual process 15:15 exists, that we can actually maybe pin down how creativity works. 15:22 That we learn something new that we make startling connections between different 15:27 areas, that we then create something really wonderful. 15:33 Are we actually creating a climate in which we're nurturing this? 15:36 Now when we're younger, 15:43 it's sort of accepted that imaginative play is central to learning. 15:45 So a preschool will always indulge children in sensory play. 15:50 They're kind of given different objects to touch. 15:55 Every sort of sense is completely engaged at that time period. 15:58 It's actually a protected right within the UN's convention on the rights of a child. 16:02 So children have the right to relax and play because that is how they learn. 16:09 But there is a significant paradigm shift as we get slightly older. 16:12 So in primary school, around that time, we see things changing quite a lot. 16:17 So educationalist Ken Robinson has often said that our current paradigm of work and 16:24 play is probably based on this assembly line formula that has it's origins 16:29 in the Industrial Revolution. 16:33 Now, there definitely practical advantages to why we divide things at school or 16:36 at work by age groups or by periods of time or by subjects, but 16:41 that last one really kind of stood out to me. 16:45 So at school, often you have subject-based assessments, 16:48 you kind of study things, especially science By going into your biology class, 16:51 your chemistry class, your physics class. 16:56 But in actuality, in academia, that's not at all how research works. 16:58 In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find any institution that does not 17:02 urge cross-departmental collaboration. 17:06 It's sort of the bedrock of modern science, this multidisciplinary approach. 17:09 And unfortunately in a lot of places that we work as well, if we take a continued 17:13 professional development course we're often told by the people that we work for 17:18 to potentially extend our specialization rather than kind of moving sideways and 17:23 pursuing something entirely new. 17:28 Possibly in some work environments that are quite innovative they might encourage 17:31 that, but in most places they don't necessarily do that. 17:34 So the other problem we see in addition to all of this is that even if we go 17:40 past all of these paradigms and we want to pick up something new and we decide that 17:44 we're committed to acquiring a new skill, we're confronted with things like this. 17:48 That past the age of 25 your brain has basically started to die and 17:53 it's too late. 17:58 I see this come up a lot when people talk about acquiring a second language. 17:59 People have the tendency to say that we've past that early critical period. 18:03 That if you were two or three, that's the time to learn a language. 18:08 And while there are truths definitely biologically to the fact 18:11 that kids learn and retain information a lot more quickly than adults. 18:16 There are a number of reasons why this would happen. 18:20 And this is where neuroplasticity comes in. 18:23 And I really urge you to kind of investigate this particular neuroscience 18:26 concept so this is the idea that the brain has the capacity 18:30 to reorganize itself and make new neural connections throughout its lifetime. 18:34 It doesn't have consequences just for 18:39 those of us who are trying Trying to be creative on a daily basis. 18:42 It has very far reaching consequences. 18:45 There have been cases where stroke patients have been told after the six 18:47 month period that they can't walk again. 18:51 But they have learned to require all of their skills over a period of years and 18:53 they taught themselves to do that. 18:59 So it's an incredibly powerful concept that should not escape us. 19:00 The society that we live in, unfortunately, 19:04 gives us these paradigms that cause us to have ideas that are so firmly entrenched 19:09 in the fact that the brain is fixed, it's not malleable, it can't be changed. 19:13 And that's not necessarily the case. 19:18 So, what I'm gonna talk about now is essentially what we focus on as a company. 19:22 So, obviously Illuminary and Forensic Outreach are educational organizations, 19:28 and we're really concerned with how people learn, how they play, and how they create. 19:32 So, I'll talk a little bit about that now. 19:37 So, Forensic Outreach as I said is a public engagement 19:42 organization that specializes in crime and security science. 19:46 And a luminary kind of goes farther than that. 19:50 We encompass a lot more disciplines than just those two. 19:53 So this is an example of what we do. 19:56 Workshops are a big part of it. 19:58 This was a particular workshop that we ran at Chiswick Park, 20:00 which is a massive business park in London. 20:04 There were about 7,000 people there that day and 20:07 our job was to engage everybody in a light touch activity, 20:09 which ended up being forensic anthropology and a lot of fingerprinting. 20:13 I'm gonna skip the top one for a minute and come back to it in a second. 20:17 The bottom one is a snippet of a brochure that we're putting out. 20:20 This is for our New York workshops because we're about to go into the U.S. 20:26 starting in 2016. 20:32 These are workshops basically that communicate essentially 20:33 the psychological underpinnings of first response to mass fatality incidents. 20:38 So obviously surrounding the 9/11 incident. 20:43 And the top one is essentially sort of a nod 20:47 to some of the work that we did on NPR's serial. 20:51 So how many of you have heard of that podcast? 20:54 Yeah, so we were credited on episode 11, 20:56 and I was going to mention a little bit about what we did for them. 20:59 Unfortunately, I can't tell you too much and 21:03 that's because the case has been reopened. 21:05 But we did work on it, and the reason that I put it in is to kind of give you an idea 21:07 of sort of the consulting that we do sometimes for news resources. 21:12 So our team is really unique, we basically have a four to five person team, 21:17 they're all from a variety of scientific backgrounds. 21:22 We've got for instance a biological fluid specialist who's research involves trying 21:25 to get different types of bodily fluids that aggregate together to fluoresce. 21:32 So for instance, if you have blood in one area and semen in the other are, and 21:36 they kind of mix together, they would fluoresce different colors. 21:40 So he's pioneering the technology to do with that. 21:43 We've got a forensic anthropologist who studies death and decomposition, but 21:46 how that process changes if a person was affected by trauma before death. 21:51 Another person is an ecotoxicologist, and I think, kind of linking 21:56 back to what I was saying about creativity earlier, this sort of setup is 22:01 really central to creating the imaginative workshops that we're known for. 22:05 In addition to this, we have the support of a lot of distinguished scientific 22:11 consultants and collaborators, we work with US Department of Defense. 22:15 The FBI, we have a cryptanalyst that we work with over there, 22:19 as well as the UK Home Office. 22:22 So, with all these people combined, we kind of have this great pool and reservoir 22:24 of varrying experiences that we can draw from to create the products that we have. 22:29 So to give you an idea of what we do, 22:36 one of our biggest clients is Holidaybreak corporation. 22:37 We work with two brands primarily, NST and EST. 22:41 NST caters to ages 11 and 18, 22:45 EST to the secondary school cohorts and all the way up to university. 22:48 And we deliver hundreds of workshops in central London every single year, 22:54 so we're basically considered a London attraction in our own right. 22:58 So right beside the science museum and the natural history museum, people come in and 23:02 select one of the workshops and complete those through us. 23:07 At present, our catalog includes over 20 different titles. 23:10 So one of our workshops, Mission Decipher, involves deciphering 23:13 some real FBI messages that have been sent, but haven't yet been decoded. 23:19 And this co-created with, as I mentioned, the crypto-analyst that we have at 23:24 the FBI, all the way to things like Brave New World: Science, Ethics and Humanity. 23:28 But my favorite workshop that we developed was forensic pathology. 23:34 So, this is an interesting story. 23:37 Forensic pathology is an excellent way to teach kids about human anatomy and 23:40 physiology. 23:44 In a way that is very different from getting that lesson in a science, 23:46 in a regular science class. 23:51 And what we thought of as we were sitting around as a team, 23:53 was well how do we get people to perform an autopsy. 23:56 Is there any way we can do that? 24:00 And, of course, this is a problem that faces medical schools all around 24:02 the world, so there wasn't any real way that we thought we could fix it. 24:05 Except we came up with the idea of commissioning a prop store in Hollywood 24:08 to build us, essentially, a life-sized resin cadaver that you could open up. 24:14 You could remove all kinds of organs and reassemble it again and 24:20 do it using mock autopsy tools. 24:24 And this happens to be one of our most popular workshops, 24:27 I'm really bad of this one. 24:30 This is another example of some of the collections that we have. 24:31 So we have an entire skeletal remains collection. 24:34 A lot of our specimens are sort of from the medieval era. 24:38 And this is a bone cast actually of somebody who suffered machete blow. 24:42 So that entire sort of right side is just one clean blow. 24:47 And these are the kinds of interesting things 24:51 that students really seem to respond to. 24:54 It's quite grizzly, but at the same time we can impart so 24:56 much information about osteology, about chemistry, 24:59 about biology in ways that potentially schools wouldn't be able to do. 25:02 So little bit more about the public engagement work that we do with museums. 25:07 Recently, the Photographers' Gallery in London was 25:11 launching an exhibition called Burden of Proof. 25:16 It's going to run I think starting in October. 25:18 And they're showcasing a lot of, I would say, 25:21 thought provoking, but disturbing crime scene photography. 25:24 And they have two educational objectives over the photographer's gallery. 25:28 The first one is to encourage people to engage more with photography as a medium. 25:32 And the second is to try and improve visual literacy which just means 25:38 the ability to interpret what you see in an image. 25:42 And they asked us to come in and 25:45 basically transform their entire third or fourth floor into a crime scene but 25:46 one where you couldn't tell what the nature of the crime was. 25:50 So when you walk into it you have no idea whether someone's been murdered or 25:53 whether there's been a theft or something else has happened. 25:57 And the entire point is that they're going to invite 26:00 students as well as general members of the public. 26:03 To take photographs of the scene and 26:06 try interpret what happened, sort of using photography essentially. 26:07 I think this is a great way 26:12 to show you how we kind of combine different disciplines. 26:14 So this is a way that we kind of combined photography with 26:18 the general understanding of forensic science. 26:21 In September we'll be essentially the lead consultants for 26:26 a massive science festival at the National Media Museum. 26:31 And later in January 2016 we'll be at the Science Museum to deliver a late 26:35 evening on crime fighting in the future. 26:40 And that's in conjunction with the UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and 26:43 Crime Science there sort of our partners and they have been for the last few years. 26:46 This one's really fascinating I think, so 26:53 the Museum of London had a Sherlock exhibition last year. 26:55 And the thing about that was you can have people kind of go through the museum and 27:01 take in these different objects but it's very different to being kind of 27:05 completely immersed in Victorian London and that's what they brought us in to do. 27:08 So, as a participant in one of these late evenings, you walked in, 27:13 you were effectively transformed into a Victorian detective, 27:16 and you investigated a crime scene as they would have back then. 27:19 So we had all the genuine instrumentation that was available to people at the time. 27:23 We had basically given them the know how, the protocols they would use for kionise 27:27 processing which was basically well not very much, it wasn't that detailed. 27:32 And they went ahead and they processed that scene within that experience. 27:36 And then after drinks they were transformed or 27:39 they time traveled into contemporary London and examined the exact same crime. 27:42 But using a UV-lit room where they could use modern technology, 27:47 really sophisticated instrumentation to see how those two things have changed. 27:52 And this went down really well, so we were rehired to run another event. 27:56 There's going to be an unveiling in Scotland Yard's Black Museum, 28:02 which is incredibly exciting. 28:05 It's the first time that this collection hash 28:06 been shown to the public in a very long time. 28:09 So, the Black Museum is actually a collection of criminal memorabilia. 28:12 So it includes things like hangman's nooses, gallstones from a murder victim. 28:16 It's quite dark stuff, basically. 28:21 And a lot of it has an element where people are questioning, sometimes, 28:24 the ethics of keeping these objects. 28:28 So what they brought us in to do is to cast a light on 28:31 how modern investigative techniques could come under fire in later years. 28:34 So what are the ethics of crime fighting in the future? 28:38 And so what we did, and 28:42 I'm not gonna give away too much about it because I'd love you all to come. 28:43 Is to design a scenario where participants walk in and 28:46 they have to disable an explosive, basically. 28:51 And the entire simulation is guided by an app that we've developed that runs 28:53 on an iPad. 28:59 And the entire time they kind of have to race against the clock and 29:01 make use of new methods, things like biometric identification. 29:04 Things like facial recognition systems, hotspot analysis, to try and 29:09 catch the perpetrators. 29:14 It's essentially preventative policing. 29:15 So that definitely will shed a light on sort of the ethics of crime fighting, 29:18 but in the future. 29:22 So this is what we call the learning creativity feedback cycle, 29:26 to kind of link it back to the beginning. 29:29 What we try to do is continually learn new things as a team, 29:31 it never stops with just our specialization. 29:35 We always go out and learn more about what's available, 29:38 what sort of scientific developments could we kind of integrate into our workshops. 29:41 So we learn something new, we kind of work with each other to make connections 29:46 between our own disciplines, and 29:50 we arrive at what we've exposed ourselves to basically to create new workshops. 29:52 This hopefully will allow children and adults that we teach to learn something 29:56 new, so that they can make a connection and they can go create something. 30:00 So we keep learning, so that they can keep learning and keep creating. 30:04 So I've just got a few really quick takeaway 30:11 messages that we've learned as a team. 30:15 Hopefully, these can be something that you take away with you today. 30:18 The first thing that I would recommend is, to embrace life long kindergarten, 30:23 become a complete beginner again. 30:26 So I think it's really important to continually sort 30:28 of engage with new disciplines that are completely outside of your specialty. 30:31 That are completely outside of your discipline. 30:36 And it shouldn't be anything would be good for x is what we say. 30:38 So it shouldn't be anything that you think would help you further 30:44 a particular project or just your career in general. 30:47 That's the first thing, and ensure that you realise that your adult sensibilities 30:51 definitely do diminish to a child like curiosity. 30:56 So definitely allow yourself to follow your own inclinations and your own natural 30:59 curiosity, you'd be really surprised sometimes where that leads you. 31:03 The second is to purposely immerse yourself into some plans that you 31:07 don't understand. 31:10 So, a really good rule of thumb that we use is to think about whatever subject it 31:11 was that you avoided at school and engage with that again. 31:16 It's something that we would never do because we're usually terrified but 31:20 that's the exact thing that will create those new associations between different 31:23 regions in your brain hopefully. 31:27 So the other part of this is to do that, but to teach yourself. 31:29 So what Andreasen actually found in her pet scan studies 31:33 is that people who had very highly active regions of 31:36 those association cortices tended to be self taught. 31:41 Probably, and this is speculation. 31:44 When we teach ourselves, there's this added element of believing focus and 31:47 having your attention on that material all the time in a way that 31:51 doesn't really occur when your kind of listening and learning passively, so 31:55 that's another really important part of this. 31:59 The third is to take on challenging side projects to explore these subjects. 32:04 So Forensic Outreach actually has a concept that we use 32:08 called the Reach Question. 32:11 All the workshops that we design are actually designed at a level that's 32:13 slightly more advanced for the age group. 32:16 The reason that we do this is because we find that it actually works really, 32:19 really well. 32:23 So students, when they feel like they're fascinated by something, 32:24 have a tendency to self motivate to grasp concepts that you think they would 32:29 have never really understood. 32:32 And we see this happen over and over again. 32:35 And I think that's a really important point 32:37 because a lot of us kind of limit ourselves by thinking that we can't, 32:40 kind of, push our own boundaries because this is, sort of, how it's done. 32:44 This is, sort of, the tiered approach or the graded approach. 32:48 So kind of lose that is what I would advise. 32:50 Fourth is to connect the dots. 32:54 So this is another really important part of the Andresson studies. 32:55 She mentioned that this association sort of activity 32:59 doesn't occur unless there are subdued periods of rest. 33:03 So do allow yourself to actually take the time to make those associations in 33:07 the first place. 33:11 It's kind of what we call incubating your thoughts. 33:12 And finally, don't rinse and repeat, don't get complacent. 33:16 Once you sort of grappled with a new topic, 33:20 definitely move sideways onto something else. 33:23 And finally what I would leave you with is the idea that creativity really is 33:26 a process and so is learning not something I guess we should all remember. 33:31 What I included here is very is just a bunch of recommended reading resources. 33:37 If you're really interested in this stuff, 33:43 I would definitely jot a few of these things down. 33:45 Thanks very much. 33:47 [APPLAUSE] 33:48
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