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Putting the Discipline in Interdisciplinary: Using Speedstorming to Teach and Initiate Creative Collaboration in Nanoscience

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The most powerful scientific advances are propelled by creative ideas that cross disciplinary boundaries. Few fields exemplify this as thoroughly as nanoscience, which promises to benefit humankind by delivering radically new technologies—if scientists from different disciplines can work together creatively. Unfortunately, initiating interdisciplinary conversations can be a costly undertaking in the context of academia, where disciplines are separated by entrenched physical and social structures. We present a new method, called 'speedstorming,' designed to improve the process of teaching and initiating creative collaboration. Early results show great promise for accelerating the rate of collaboration formation in the field of nanoscience. We found that for teaching and forming creative collaboration, speedstorming is more efficient and more effective than group brainstorming. This article explores the rationale for using such a method in nanoscience research and education and details the steps to conducting speedstorming sessions to achieve several common aims in a variety of settings. Limitations and unanswered questions regarding the method are also explored.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • The Journal of Nano Education (JNE) is a peer-reviewed international journal that aims to provide the most complete and reliable source of information on current developments in nanoscale science, technology, engineering, and medical education.
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