Weaving the 3 Is – Intellect, Imagination, and Intuition

Welcome to Heart Forward Science! I am so excited to launch this webpage. This is a place where we can work together to create a new mindset in science that supports scientists to bring their full selves to the work they do. So much of science focuses solely on the intellectual and analytical without clearly bringing heart into the effort. As a woman environmental scientist focused on sustainability, I was educated to leave big parts of myself outside the lab, the field, and the classroom. This was not only unnatural for me, it was unsatisfying, and arguably less effective.

I made my way through scienceandacademia by succeeding in that limited way, “sneaking” in the rest of me and other ways of knowing as much as possible. I achieved the rank of Full Professor and then spent ten years in administration, eventually serving as Interim Provost and Executive Vice President of a PhD granting, research university.  I served as elected president of one of a national level professional association and I currently chair the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing informed environmental policy- and decision-making through science.

My work at HFS is bringing heart to science and to develop the infrastructure needed to support the weaving of intellect, imagination, and intuition as a stronger foundation for science than intellect alone. In particular, the questions on which scientists focus, the methods we use, and the communication of our work are all enriched by the weaving of the three Is – intellect, imagination, and intuition. It is through the heart that this weaving occurs. Working with heart and direct revelation in science has the potential to significantly speed humanity’s progress toward a more sustainable, equitable world.

I launched Heart Forward Science to invite others to join in this effort. Please consider following us and submitting your own thoughts, ideas, poetry, art, or any creative endeavor that helps to move us toward a more holistic approach to science and humanity.

2 thoughts on “Weaving the 3 Is – Intellect, Imagination, and Intuition”

  1. Congratulations on a great start to a much needed endeavour.
    We all know the Earth is in a tight fix, and we need to act creatively and fast, to bring about the kind of change that is called for. And that’s going to take all of us. Not just as in every individual, but also as in all the different parts of each individual- all the many kinds of intelligence. Having a forum such as this to share reflections and practices is priceless.
    Thank you, let’s make the most of this opportunity.


  2. Dear Valerie,
    This is beautifully informed and desperately needed work and unification of heart and mind to save our Mother Earth.
    Your study and training and the achievement of the leadership of an “advanced organization dedicated to advancing informed environmental policy – and decision making through science” opens the door to a position in the America Government when it changes leadership and focus this NOV.3, 2020. I pray to see a woman of your accomplishment, intelligence, imagination and intuition in a top post to correct the damages done and false fossil fuel thinking and
    actions taken in the last years. We must correct and the Government must invest in new forms of energy before the people can change our habits. I see you as fully capable of leading this new movement! Will you contact people coming into power?

    Much love to you,

    Joan Alma McLaughlin


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