Seeing Differently: Curiosity, Creativity & Dyslexia, with Rebecca Kamen

“To me, dyslexia is a superpower.” ~ Rebecca Kamen

You wouldn’t know it, given her passion for research and accumulation of impressive academic credentials, but one thing artist and educator Rebecca Kamen doesn’t do very well is read.

Only as an adult did she come to understand that she lives with dyslexia – a challenge in making the connection between the letters on a page and their meaning and sound – a challenge in reading.

As we come to understand the human brain better, we’re also coming to see that dyslexia, once uniformly regarded as a learning disability, is also a lens for seeing things differently.

Think “neurodivergent” not “disabled.”

I was delighted when Rebecca, the deeply curious & creative person who happens to have dyslexia, reached out to me with an offer to explore all three.

Rebecca’s artwork is informed by wide-ranging investigations of cosmology, history, and philosophy, and by connecting common threads that flow across various scientific fields to capture and re-imagine what the scientists see.

She, and they, go looking for patterns. 

“Patterns,” she says, “are critical for knowing.”  

I never even knew I had a problem; I just thought everyone processed information the way I did…It wasn’t until I was a college professor and I was having coffee with a friend of mine who taught special education at the University Maryland and she asked me how I got into art education. So I told her my story and she said, ‘Rebecca. I think you might be dyslexic.’ And I thought, ‘Really? That explains a lot!’ That’s when I became curious and thought, ‘Well, let me see what that’s about!’

Listen to Choose to be Curious #207: Seeing Differently: Curiosity, Creativity & Dyslexia, with Rebecca Kamen

Learn more about Rebecca Kamen’s work on her website:

Read more about Rebecca’s exhibits on Dyslexia and 300 Years of Women in Science.

Rebecca recommends as a good resource for more information about living with dyslexia.

Listen to my previous conversation with Rebecca Kamen: Ep. 151: Reveal: The Art of Reimagining Scientific Discovery, with Rebecca Kamen.

Theme music by Sean Balick; “The Summit”, by K2, via Blue Dot Sessions.

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