The last days of the polymath

While listening again to Start The Week I became fascinated by a discussion, featuring Edward Carr on The Last Days of the Polymath. Many interesting points came up e.g. narrowness vs breadth in education. The phrase which resonated with me most, however, was “interesting things happen at the intersection of disciplines” (Edward Carr). This is exactly how I feel, hence my own fascination with the overlap between music, language and neuroscience. More particularly, I’d argue that clarity happens at the intersection of disciplines and this is possibly more easily seen in the teaching of music than in many fields. Being an abstract language, the language of music cannot be used to explain music itself, and parallels with pupils’ other subjects are indispensable – and also fun.

One of the other guests on the programme, writer Audrey Niffenegger, expressed an opinion which, I feel, would resonate with many of my favourite bloggers – that polymaths have been replaced by collaboration.

The discussion begins at 12:20 here and should be available until Mon 19th.