Activity: Talk and presentation › Academic presentation › Academic
In 2013, just after receiving the Nobel Prize on Physics, Peter Higgs controversially stated that ‘no university would employ him in today’s academic system because he would not be considered productive enough’ (The Guardian, 6 Dec. 2013). Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, and many other wonderful thinkers would certainly find it difficult to be PhD students today and compete in the academic and commercial environments. Yet, they all succeeded, not without obstacles, in creating new ways of seeing the world and fostering hope for many. They all shared a commitment to create, and to do so dangerously knowing that there would be consequences in doing so. This lecture builds on the inspiration of these great thinkers to reflect on what does it mean to do science and scholarship today in the context of a PhD. As Albert Camus argued in the essay from which this lecture borrows its title, the basic principle of free creation is the creator’s faith in himself. How can we exercise this freedom to create whilst doing a PhD and how dangerous is that?