The Intersection of Science and Improvisation


This is a great TED talk from systems biologist, Uri Alon, about how he incorporates improvisation into his work. Watch the video and then check out my highlights.

Highlights of the Talk:

  • We’d all studied science as if it’s a series of logical steps between question and answer, but doing research is nothing like that. (1:22)
  • Improvisation theater, just like science, goes into the unknown… But unlike science, in improvisation theater, they tell you from day one what’s going to happen to you when you get onstage. You’re going to fail miserably. You’re going to get stuck. And we would practice staying creative inside that stuck place. (1:38)
  • Research in psychology shows that if you’re feeling fear and despair, your mind narrows down to very safe and conservative ways of thinking. If you’d like to explore the risky paths needed to get out of the cloud, you need other emotions — solidarity, support, hope — that come with your connection from somebody else, so like in improvisation theater, in science, it’s best to walk into the unknown together. (7:22)

Want to bring the power of improvisation to your organization? Check out my programs on applied improvisation.

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