Expertise

What is expertise? ‘Expert skill and knowledge in a particular field’. What is a field? That is much harder. Is this woman an expert in her field? I asked this question of a group of students. The answer was, ‘Yes, she’s an expert because she has a PhD’. But her PhD is in...

Enoughness of expertise in higher education in the age of web 2.0

I want to introduce the concept of ‘enough expertise’ into higher education – particularly with respect to teaching undergraduates. The concept of ‘enough’ (or should that really be ‘enoughness’?) is in the air – see, for example this symposium at UCL. But...

10,000 hours and interdisciplinary learning

The notion that 10,000 hours is what is required to reach expertise in a given area has been popularised by Malcolm Gladwell and appeared previously in Daniel Levitin’s book This is Your Brain on Music, and elsewhere. This notion presents a challenge to someone involved in an interdisciplinary...

Experts, PhDs, research, employment – and musicians

There is anxiety that the UK is not producing enough PhD level researchers, particularly in science and engineering. The view of some commentators such as Brian Cox is that this puts our economy and national well-being at risk. There is no doubt that we need experts. And there is no doubt we need cutting...