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Memoir of Ernst Gombrich – guest post by Richard Gombrich

The life and character – but not the achievements – of my father, Ernst Gombrich. My father, Ernst Gombrich, was born in Vienna on 30 March 1909. His father, Karl Gombrich, was a lawyer; his mother, Leonie, née Hock, was a famous piano teacher. In socio-economic terms, it was a typical middle-class...

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If I Were A Polymath…

When you have two or three degrees and a couple of other strings to your bow, friends and colleagues can be flattering and start to use the ‘P’ word generously. But apart from the fact that I know several people personally who have two PhDs and so have certainly taken polymathism to a higher...

Referencing and Punctuation

Here’s two things I have never been very good at: academic referencing and punctuation. It might seem odd that a teacher at a superb university is going public on this, but the time seems right to have a discussion about these things because both skills are under pressure in the current knowledge...

Dreams and happiness

My friend Peter Gibson told me that if you are happy you are not supposed to want to sleep too much: you want to be awake to enjoy as much of your happy life as possible. But, I told Peter, I am often really happy in my sleep. Actively happy. Laughingly, joyously happy. My dream states are positive cognitive...

Global anxieties, local hope

My current job takes me out to talk to young people. I visit schools, and also they come to our university to discuss the Arts and Sciences (BASc) degree. I enjoy these occasions a lot. Occasionally I get a little carried away and can’t contain my enthusiasm, and end up confusing the message a bit, but...

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