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If you would prefer to attend in person, the seminar will take place in Room G/8, in the Waterloo Bridge Wing of Franklin Wilkins Building, King's College London, Stamford Street, SE1 9NH. If you are not a member of CRESTEM, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
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In his 1959 Rede lecture, whose famous title became a byword for polarisation in university life, the research scientist, novelist and politician C.P. Snow attempted to define the forces that had incrementally siloed disciplines within his academic ecosystem. Snow surveyed opinions of scientists widely and systematically, contrasting them (quite unsystematically) with his anecdotal conversations at High Table or with literary acquaintances. His conclusions were that academic voices in both Sciences and Humanities were wilfully self-impoverishing with respect to each other’s cultures.
In the 63 years since publication of “The Two Cultures”, the proliferation of new academic disciplines - most notably with the arrival of the social sciences in the mid-sixties – have encountered a notably less self-impoverished academy. However, a legacy of the two cultures arguably still resonates in an ignorance and mistrust of each other’s research methodologies and educational approaches. These methodological divides have created silos within the classroom that are at odds with the perceived need for flexibility and transdisciplinary collaboration in a modern graduate workforce.
In this seminar, Prof Richard Wingate will look at two examples where blending disciplines enriches science education: Firstly, how equipping science undergraduates with social sciences methodology can help them decode research texts. Secondly, how working with artists has brought the rigour of the “crit” from art colleges and architectural school into the laboratory. Finally, he will discuss how establishing a taxonomy of interdisciplinary learning and teaching helps academics articulate both their experience of and aspirations for interdisciplinary education.
Speaker: Richard Wingate
Richard Wingate is Professor of Developmental Neurobiology in the MRC Centre for the Neurodevelopmental Disorders (IOPPN) at King's, and Editor-in-Chief of BrainFacts.org, the popular public education resource of the Society for Neuroscience.
He is Academic Lead for the King's First Year and King’s Flexible Curriculum and has previously held positions as Director of the Centre for Education and Head of Anatomy in the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine at King’s College London.
He has developed a series of longstanding collaborations across disciplines working with cultural historians, archaeologists, philosophers and artists. He has curated two exhibitions at King’s and acted as scientific advisor for shows at the Wellcome Collection and Science Gallery India.
His latest popular science book is The Story of the Brain in 10 ½ Cells (Wellcome Collection and Profile Books).
This event was part of the CRESTEM Seminar Series.