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CARL GOMBRICH - BLOG

Higher Education, Interdisciplinarity, and some related things like Expertise and Future of Work

Welcome to my new blog. You can read more about me in the About tab, top left. I'm looking forward to getting back to 'writing and thinking out loud' about Higher Education, Interdisciplinarity and other things that interest me. You can talk to me either here or on my linked Twitter feed.

 

Interdisciplinarity and Intellectual Excitement

I’ve been blogging on the connection between studying at university and work recently. I think this is important because the overwhelming majority of our students will not work in universities; there is no obvious reason, therefore, why studying a single university discipline is the best thing for most students to do in order to prepare themselves for the majority of white-collar jobs. I am also positive about the relationship between traditional university work and values an

The evidence for evidence

Most great scientific advances take place before there is evidence for them. Scientists follow their hunches, then collect data which they hope will substantiate those hunches. Indeed, there is often evidence to substantiate the opposite view. That is what determines great scientific advances from mediocre ones: the great ones see through the existing evidence as understood at the time to posit new ideas which require different evidence or at least a (sometimes drastic) re-in

Interdisciplinarity: easy but hard; hard but easy.

In some ways the concept of interdisciplinarity is easy: when doing research or when learning, follow the problem, not ‘the subject’. That is (on one view) ‘interdisciplinary research’ or ‘interdisciplinary learning’. Karl Popper said it in 1963: ‘We are not students of some subject matter, but students of problems. And problems may cut right across the borders of any subject matter or discipline.’ So don’t worry about what ‘discipline’ or ‘subject’ you are meant to be doing;

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 level than me, I do not think of myself as a polymath as I have not produced much in different fields. I’ve studied a fair bit, learnt quite a lot fairly well and taught a lot of it, too,

 

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