Muse?

We talk to dancers, painters, a scientist, a composer and a rap up-and-comer to find out how Harvard gets inspired.

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99 % perspiration, or so said Thomas Edison. At Harvard, it’s easy to find the perspiration; minds and bodies are hard at work everywhere from the Carpenter Center to the physics lab. But what about the other part? Where do Harvard’s innovators find that special spark?

Does it come from strolling the banks of the Charles, reading academic journals, or dreaming of hometowns far away from the dreary Cambridge rain? Is Harvard a muse, or just a place where people muse? We asked a sampling of creative minds at Harvard about their sources of inspiration and creativity. As might be expected, their responses were as varied as their media. But they all cited one another— students and faculty with ideas and sparks of their own—as a spur to their own inspiration. With such a network of inspiration, there must be lightbulbs flicking on at all hours of the day.