How virtual meetings can limit creative ideas

Listen to the latest science news with Nick Petrić Howe and Benjamin Thompson.

In this episode:

00:56 How video calls can reduce creativity

As a result of the pandemic, workers around the world have become accustomed to meeting colleagues online. To find out if this switch from face-to-face meetings came at a cost to creativity, a team compared the number of ideas generated by workers collaborating either online, or in-person. They showed that people meeting virtually produced fewer creative ideas than those working face-to-face, and suggest that when it comes to idea generation maybe it’s time to turn the camera off.

Research article: Brucks & Levav

News and Views: Virtual collaboration hinders idea generation

Video: Why video calls are bad for brainstorming

08:08 Research Highlights

Fragments from an ancient pyramid suggest earliest known use of a Maya calendar, and how sweet snacks could damage rare iguanas’ metabolism.

Research Highlight: Deer symbol hints at early adoption of Maya calendar

Research Highlight: Tourists’ sweet treats threaten rare iguanas’ health

10:34 Fish skin reveals a new type of cell division

Researchers looking at the skin cells of zebrafish have discovered a new type of cell division, which doesn’t require DNA replication. DNA is usually essential for healthy cells, but the researchers think this puzzling finding may be a temporary measure to help the fish produce skin more rapidly during growth spurts.

Research article: Chan et al.

News and Views: Stretched skin cells divide without DNA replication

Video: A new kind of cell division

16:59 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, how laser-equipped submarines could help analyse gelatinous animals’ anatomy, and a push for a flagship mission to Uranus.

The New Yorker: Shedding Light on Untouchable Sea Creatures

Nature: Next stop, Uranus? Icy planet tops priority list for next big NASA mission

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