Collaboration, GrantStorming, and You – Oh My!

Thoughts on creativity, collaboration, software, and GrantStorming with Collaborative Drug Discovery

From the desk of Barry A. Bunin, PhD:

group skydive

I recently had the pleasure of discussing parallels between art and science with Theral Timpson at Mendelspod.

Scientists and artists both harness creativity (aka innovation in entrepreneurial circles) in a very similar manner to understand something new, ideally something that at first seems surprising and in hindsight is obvious, self-evident.   Often this occurs initially as a hunch.  An itch that needs to be scratched.

There are two aspects of creativity and innovation that are particularly interesting to me.  The first is that we can engineer our own brains via habits to increase the probability of creating useful creative threads.   The old axiom of Louis Pasteur, that “In the fields of observation, chance favors the prepared mind.”   And “a mind is like a parachute, it doesn’t work if it is not open,” often attributed to Frank Zappa.  Clearly there are things we can do ourselves to live more or less creative lives (i.e. lives that lend themselves to more creative experiences).   The second aspect is perhaps even more interesting, our selected environment and collaborations can actually nourish (or when poorly selected dampen) the creative output.  It sounds obvious when directly stated, but how many of us actively nurture ourselves and our collaborations to maximize creativity?  How can that be optimized?  Individually?  Collectively?

My basic premise is that innovative aspects of art and science, at a meta level, are the same.   This is true generally for software and technology.   Around eight minutes into the interview, I described how web-based software is art.   And taken as a whole, the Internet is arguably humanity’s greatest collaborative work of art.

What’s the pragmatic relevance for busy drug discovery scientists and business people?

CDD is all about collaboration and leveraging our wonderful Internet, but in a secure manner that respects IP.   CDD has explored the science of highly effective scientific collaborations for 8 years.  With the CDD Vault, researchers can securely share data and hypotheses to accelerate collaborative drug discovery.  And with our new GrantStorming program, researchers can co-evolve and help take their “good ideas to great” to accelerate collaborative drug discovery funding.