Openness Is the Mother of Invention

In America, Curiosity Is Often the Only Qualification You Need

From the light bulb to the iPhone, America has a long history of revolutionary inventions. So what does this ingenuity spring from? What are the conditions that allow for our innovative spirit?

At a Smithsonian/Zócalo “What It Means to Be American” event, held at the National Museum of American History in Washington, Zócalo Public Square publisher Gregory Rodriguez moderated a lively, big-picture discussion about the nature of creativity and the cultural forces that influence it. The evening featured four panelists, all recipients of this year’s Smithsonian magazine Ingenuity Awards, from …