top of page
art meets science -  a collaboration with dr. Rick jansen
think - workshop series by Dorit Weintal & Rick Jansen

Inspiration, Imagination and Creativity in scientific thinking

In science nowadays, the fragmentation of disciplines, the mostly data-driven approach and computerized practice of science, deprives a comprehensive perspective and limits the creation of ideas that can empower the scientist and thereby fuel scientific output. This workshop will boost the quality of your thinking, by acknowledging the body-mind connection and subconscious intrinsic creative capacity. We will intensify team structures, thereby creating new space for dialogue and ideas. Using an unconventional approach, starting with kinesthetic awareness of the body, and each other, through group movement exercises, space orientation, disorientation dynamics, and automatic subconscious reasoning techniques, we will work towards the creative thinking process. Finally, with this state of mind and improved team dynamics, we will brainstorm the burning questions of your research group.


The workshop extends its applicability to diverse businesses by fostering team-building activities. It incorporates strategies and exercises aimed at enhancing collaboration, communication, and overall team dynamics, making it a versatile resource for fostering a cohesive work environment in various professional settings. For additional insights, contact

Rick Jansen is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry at the Amsterdam UMC ( After finishing the Waldorf high school, he traveled to West Africa over land, and did an individual silent retreat for 3 months to find the meaning of life in philosophy and esotericism. Back in Amsterdam he was trained as a mathematician and did a PhD by applying mathematical modeling in Neurogenomics. He did a Postdoc in Molecular Psychiatry and the last couple of years focused on finding better treatment for, and molecular mechanisms underlying, depression subtypes. His ongoing passion for understanding the world, and rich inner life needed for that, revealed a discrepancy between the insights uncovered in this search, and lack of these insights in contemporary science. One morning he had a coffee in the bar next door, which happened to be the bar next door to his friend Dorit. Dorit asked ‘what do you really want to do in life’. This workshop is what followed.


Dorit Weintal is a multidisciplinary artist, choreographer, dancer, yogi practitioner and yoga teacher based in Amsterdam. From Amsterdam, she travels internationally as a maker, teacher, and leader of art projects, yoga and self -empowerment retreats. Her artistic work is concerned with the human consciousness, perception, identity and social engagement explored through dance, art films, video installations, and poetry, collaborating with scientists, such as neuro-psychologist Dr. Viona Wijnen, for her dance performance ‘The Living Network’ (2011), and philosophers, such as Dr. Renate Schepen on her dance project ‘Trust’ (with whom she wrote the book ‘In -Betweenness’, 2021). Her artistic background includes dance (ballet, modern & contemporary dance, acrobatics) and the performing arts, sculpturing, painting and writing. She holds a Masters degree in the theory of Arts and Architecture (Tel Aviv University 2001). During her 30 years of artistic creation and yoga practice and teaching, she has developed a body-mind methodology that combines kinesthetic awareness, somatic sensitivity to the moving body, breath methods, trance methods and integrating healing processes techniques.



Workshop Experiences:



“Mixing up the usual dynamic in a facilitated context and overcoming physical barriers between us enabled me to engage with others in a liberated manner. Thinking with my colleagues became a wonderfully relaxed and collaborative experience which I could imagine is the foundation for much quality work. All the curious movements changed our state to something different than the sedentary one that is traditional in academic work and I felt my mind was more able to follow the thoughts of others even in abstract territory”

Simone Dunn, Master student Philosophy and Neuroscience (VU Amsterdam)

“I loved that the workshop was so free. I feel sometimes us, researchers, are very perfectionist and we want to follow instructions to the letter in order to do things the ‘right’ way. However, during the workshop chaos was good and the right way to do the exercise was our own way. I found this very liberating and empowering as it gave me the confidence to be just me. It energized me and it also helped me get rid of self-conscious thoughts by focusing on the exercise, which in the end decreased self-judgment and it facilitated my creativity.”

Camille Souama, PhD student (Psychiatry Department Amsterdam UMC)

“ I noticed how much the physical / somatic state I was in influenced the way I was thinking and opened up certain lines of thought and connections between concepts that were not accessible to me before.”

Luca Wagner, Bachelor student Psychology (VU Amsterdam)

“By interacting in a more personal way with my colleagues I also got to know a different side of them. Throughout the workshop, it really felt like we were becoming more and more of a team and that any sense of hierarchy disappeared.”

Sarah Vreijling, PhD student (Psychiatry Department Amsterdam UMC)



‘Today we chase after information, without gaining knowledge. We take note of everything, without gaining insight. We communicate constantly, without participating in a community. We save masses of data, without keeping track of memories. We accumulate friends and followers, without encountering others. This is how information develops a lifeform: inexistant and impermanent.’  Byung-Chul Han (Infocracy, 2021)


Quality of thinking and insight is at the core of science. In current science, thinking and insight are often underrated. Our workshop offers a boost in the quality of your thinking and insightfulness, by addressing a couple of factors in science today that are at the cause of this:

1) Fragmentation/specialization of scientific disciplines

Science today is largely fragmented in specialized disciplines. Specialization is necessary, but often at the expense of isolated fields that do not communicate with each other and scientific results and efforts that do not take into account the broader picture. Disciplines are not isolated in real life, so comprehensive ideas require an interdisciplinary approach. With a healthy mind comes a healthy body and a healthy life. In current science and education, we only pay attention to the output of the mind, and not to the human being who carries this mind. So within science there is fragmentation of disciplines, but science itself is also fragmented from other disciplines in life (caring for the body, creativity, the arts, to name a few). This workshop strives for a comprehensive approach towards science and the other domains of life.

2) Empiricism. Science is driven by data, not ideas

Infinite amounts of data lead to infinite amounts of possible data analysis. Most work in scientific practice consists of analyzing data and reporting the statistics.The idea behind a project, the formation of that idea, is only a small part of the whole process. Scientists should be encouraged/stimulated to create new ideas, theory or insights. PhD students are trained to be scientists. Once PhD students start their projects, the outline is often fixed, the student only has to perform the described tasks. In life-sciences and probably many other fields, this often involves processing data into statistical tests and reporting in pre-structured papers. Ideas that are not empirically verifiable are not welcome in scientific publications. So papers are always written within the bubble of existing or to-be-generated data. In this scheme, the PhD student is not invited to create ideas/designs about the research conducted. Creative thinking should be part of science education to enable scientists to design new science.

3) The infocracy

All science and related information is accessible and overwhelms us through the internet. All information technology, computers, all screens, do not facilitate/support the qualitative thinking process we are interested in. Thinking starts when reading stops. On the internet, we never stop reading-watching. It is an intravenous infusion of information, without pause. We accumulate information but do not process it. Our memories are replaced by data. Memories are dynamic/living, data is dead. On the internet, we share and communicate constantly, but we participate less and less in communities because we are most of the time individuals behind screens. Real life, and communities in real life, can never replace online, and online communities, and need to be revalued by institutions and universities.


The solution:

More time should be allocated (by institutions) to increase the quality of thinking. This can be done by 1) defragmenting within science and across non-science disciplines 2) stimulating creative thinking and 3) Improving real life teamwork communication as opposed to only meeting online. Our workshop offers a boost in the quality of your thinking by addressing these three shortcomings. We recognise the body-mind connection and the subconscious intrinsic creative capacity. We intensify team structures and create new space for dialogue and ideas. Using an unconventional approach, starting with kinesthetic awareness of the body, and of each other, through physical group dynamics, space orientation, disorientation dynamics, and automatic subconscious reasoning techniques, we work towards the creative thinking process.  Finally, with this state of mind and improved team dynamics, we will brainstorm your research group's burning questions through dialogue, reassociation, preliminary action plan and documentation of the results. 


“Theory offers more than a model or a hypothesis to be proven or disproven by means of experimentation. Strong theories such as Plato’s doctrine of Ideas or Hegel’s phenomenology of Spirit are not models that could be replaced by data analysis. They are founded on thinking in the emphatic sense. Theory represents an essential decision that causes the world to appear wholly different—in a wholly different light. Theory is a primary, primordial decision, which determines what counts and what does not— what is or should be, and what does not matter. As highly selective narration, it cuts a clearing of differentiation through untrodden terrain.”


Byung-Chul Han, The Agony of Eros

bottom of page