About

Hi. I’m Carl Gombrich. This blog contains my personal views and thoughts.

I work at UCL, the great university in London, directing and setting up a new degree Arts and Sciences (BASc). It’s a wonderful job, full of intellectual and practical challenge and excitement.

In the past, I studied and taught maths, physics and philosophy. I have degrees in these things. I have also studied and taught music and was a professional opera singer for a while, having trained at the National Opera Studio in the UK, where I was the Royal Opera House scholar. These days I increasingly teach on interdisciplinarity (as a concept, but also the practicalities of implementation), history of ideas (especially of the disciplines) and expertise.

Currently, I mostly read on interdisciplinarity and the philosophy of education, but I’m interested in everything which touches education – which is pretty much everything! For example, I’m interested in the future of work and its relation to education, politics, economics, artificial intelligence and so on. In a former period, when I was heavily involved in music, there was a longish period when I was interested in religion, particularly mysticism, and I read widely in this area. I published a paper on the connections of mysticism and music called ‘Expressions of Inexpressible Truths’ which was reprinted in a twenty-year commemorative edition of the World of Music.

I may publish more formally on different things, related to my work and further interests, in the coming years – though my main focus is very much on developing the Arts and Sciences degree. My feeling is that we are at the beginning of substantial changes in academia and in our relation to knowledge in general (these sorts of things I write about on the blog) and I am interested to question my relationship to learning, teaching, writing and reading as part of these shifts. In any event, it is a positive development that where one used to be chided for being ‘a perpetual student’, one is now lauded as ‘a lifelong learner’ and admired as showing flexibility, adaptability and an intuitive ability to negotiate the ever-changing modern age.

I come from an intellectual and academic family.

I think people can change enormously over their lifetimes: emotionally, politically, artistically, intellectually, and the rest.

At some point – and up to now – these have been some of the thinkers and doers that have shaped my life in some way. The following are listed by category and in rough chronological order, according to when I encountered them.

School teachers: Philip Pullman, Peter Malin

Fiction Writers/Poets: Homer, Dickens, Hermann Hesse, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Baudelaire, George Herbert, Shakespeare

Philosophers: Plato, Plotinus, Bertrand Russell, Pascal, Hume, Bergson, Wittgenstein, A W Moore, Graham Priest, George Boolos, Martha Nussbaum

Relgious writers: Augustine, Thomas Merton, Meister Eckhart, St Thomas a Kempis, Nicholas of Cusa

Scientists/Mathematicians: Morris Klein, Richard Dawkins, Paul Davies, Einstein, Feynman, Cantor, Godel

Musicians: The Clash, Ian Dury, Al Green, Chopin, Bach, Stevie Wonder, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers, Horovitz, Richter, Haydn, Beethoven, Verdi, Gene Harris, Jussi Bjoerling, Maria Callas, Boris Christoff, Cesare Siepi, George London

Politicians/Leaders/Business people/Sports people: Warren Buffett, Eric Cantona, Arsene Wenger, Michael Johnson, Barack Obama, Usain Bolt

and of course many friends and members of my family.

I am currently using this blog to focus on issues in education, interdisciplinarity and economics. Below is some more personal stuff and some other stuff which I am happy to share with those who are interested


Personal articles:

NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS

PERSONAL