Magazine article Risk Management

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

Magazine article Risk Management

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

Article excerpt

WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM The Natural History of Innovation

by Steven Johnson

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Over the past decade, there has been a surge of a certain category of nonfiction that strives to take highly complicated concepts from a variety of scientific and academic disciplines and weave them together into a compelling, illuminating, educational narrative full of real-world anecdotes

Often called "pop-economics" or "pop-science," when such books of this ilk are at their best (think anything by Malcolm Gladwell or Freakonomics), they become an intoxicating tale that is hard to put down. Steven Johnson's Where Good Ideas Come From is poised to be the next in a long line of excellent contributions to the pop-(insert field of study here) genre.

Like most others, he covers a lot of ground. Johnson takes the reader on a guided tour that goes from stories of Charles Darwin in the Galapagos to FBI counter-terrorism agents in Phoenix to physicists in a Johns Hopkins cafeteria to Johannes Gutenberg in Rhineland, Germany. Each story is as engaging as the next and, together, they lay out the means by which true, innovative thought develops. …

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