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Research article, 2016

Deathcore, creativity and scientific thinking.

Angeler, David; Sundstrom, Shana M.; Allen, Craig R.


Major scientific breakthroughs are generally the result of materializing creative ideas, the result of an inductive process that sometimes spontaneously and unexpectedly generates a link between thoughts and/or objects that did not exist before. Creativity is the cornerstone of scientific thinking, but scientists in academia are judged by metrics of quantification that often leave little room for creative thinking. In many scientific fields, reductionist approaches are rewarded and new ideas viewed skeptically. As a result, scientific inquiry is often confined to narrow but safe disciplinary ivory towers, effectively preventing profoundly creative explorations that could yield unexpected benefits. New information This paper argues how apparently unrelated fields specifically music and belief systems can be combined in a provocative allegory to provide novel perspectives regarding patterns in nature, thereby potentially inspiring innovation in the natural, social and other sciences. The merger between basic human tensions such as those embodied by religion and music, for example the heavy metal genre of deathcore, may be perceived as controversial, challenging, and uncomfortable. However, it is an example of moving the thinking process out of unconsciously established comfort zones, through the connection of apparently unrelated entities. We argue that music, as an auditory art form, has the potential to enlighten and boost creative thinking in science. Metal, as a fast evolving and diversifying extreme form of musical art, may be particularly suitable to trigger surprising associations in scientific inquiry. This may pave the way for dealing with questions about what we don´t know that we don´t know in a fast-changing planet.


Transdisciplinary science

Published in

Research Ideas and Outcomes
2016, volume: 2, article number: e8796

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Sundstrom, Shana M.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Allen, Craig R.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

UKÄ Subject classification

Other Natural Sciences not elsewhere specified

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)