The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by Anthony Brandt and David Eagleman
"With the pleasing pace of an extended essay, the book offers surprises and insights at every turn, and the authors argue convincingly that basic strategies inform most creative behavior. . . . Essential—and highly pleasurable—reading for anyone who cares about ideas and innovation." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Art and science converge in this beautiful collaboration. . . . Packed with vivid images, countless examples, and fun facts that will leave readers eager to discuss it with friends, this is a refreshing and thought-provoking book that captures both the wonder of science and the beauty of the human spirit." —Booklist
Our relentless drive to create makes us unique among living creatures. What is special about the human brain that enables us to innovate? Why don't cows choreograph dances? Why don't squirrels build elevators to their treetops? Why don't alligators invent speedboats?
Weaving together the arts and sciences, composer Anthony Brandt and neuroscientist David Eagleman explore the need for novelty, the simulation of possible futures, and the social components that drive the inventiveness of our species. Taking us on a tour of human creativity from Picasso to concept cars to umbrellas to lunar travel, Brandt and Eagleman explore the cognitive software that generates new ideas, and illuminate the key facets of a creative mentality. Through understanding our ability to innovate—our most profound, mysterious, and deeply human capacity—we can meet the challenge of remaking our constantly shifting world.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Anthony Brandt is a composer and professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He is also Artistic Director of the contemporary music ensemble Musiqa, winner of two Adventurous Programming Awards from Chamber Music America and ASCAP. Brandt has received a Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet-the-Composer and the Houston Arts Alliance. He currently lives in Houston with his wife and children.