Liberal Education for a Complex World

Here is the talk I gave as one of the keynotes at the ‘Arts and Sciences for Global Leaders’ event at Hitotsubashi University in Japan in November, 2014. An eminent British colleague said to me that although he enjoyed the piece, there was nothing really in it to disagree with and therefore he...

Academic Empathy

An occasional paper given at The Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies (FIGS) within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at UCL November, 2013. Academic Empathy: A concept worth bearing in mind? Abstract Talk of empathy is everywhere: in science, the humanities, business and politics. Yet do we, as academics,...

Holistic Hijack

I had in mind to do a proper academic blog on an idea I have that liberal education has generally not flourished in the UK due to a widespread suspicion of ‘theory’ and a healthy devotion to empiricism and pragmatism. However, the blog wasn’t happening, so I’ve sketched the idea in...

Cognitive Work

Some of the most sceptical remarks about a liberal/interdisciplinary education come from those who are experts in established academic disciplines. The criticism is that by providing a wider base at undergraduate level one is dumbing-down the education. Here are some questions I have put to my colleagues...

Your education is a work of art

So often these days we talk of education as a mechanical or, at best, physical process: you need to ‘tick boxes’, ‘jump through hoops’, ‘overcome barriers’, ‘grind out a result’. There seems to be little notion that in undertaking an education we are creating...

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