Creativity and Innovation in Horticulture

I am a believer in creativity and innovation — and I believe we need more of it in the horticulture science field.  Sure, we have lots of creativity and innovation in the Science aspect; however, the communication of that science is where the creativity and innovation is lacking.  I think that eXtension is attempting to bridge some of that gap, but I think we can go farther outside of the normal realm of extension communications.  Right now we think of fact sheets, videos, webinars, and social media (maybe).  We do a good job of having information ready for when people come to us.  What we need to improve is to get our information to people who are not actively looking for us.  

How do we do that?

Social media is a good place to start.  I was a skeptic about social media in the beginning (and I still have some questions about certain applications), but I have found Twitter to be highly educational.  I have discovered things that I never knew existed.  The amount of information in the world is overwhelming and impossible to fully grasp, but Twitter helps to target your interests.  Twitter is what led me to find some very creative and innovative ways to convey information.  Two examples of this are creaturecast.org and jayhosler.com.

Creaturecast has short, professionally done videos that intertwine art with science.  They are elegantly simple in design but powerful in the expression of the science.

Jay Hosler conveys his area of science (the study of bees) through a visual medium of comics and graphic novels.  A wonderful method of crossing boundaries that should not exist, but do.

What these websites (and related projects) have in common is that they understand that we live in a popular culture society.  Video is a popular way to convey an idea (TV, movies, video games, etc.) as are comic books.  I find inspiration in what these researchers are doing to reach their audience.

What do you think?  Do we need more creativity and innovation in the field of Horticulture Science?

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