Category: society

Disruptive collage … and why schools need to be more honest about this radical art

I think I expected something different when I agreed to go to ‘400 years of collage’, an exhibition at the Scottish Modern Art Gallery Two … in fact, embarrassing though it is to admit, I know I had a vague expectation of some pretty pastels and cut up magazines. On reflection, this was not unsurprising, …

Continue reading

Pointers needed! Game theory plus … what?

So … here’s my problem … and I need some help … First, the background. Last week I attended a Maths Challenge certificate ceremony at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, during which I had the enjoyable experience of hearing a lecture on game theory. As part of the lecture, we all pondered again the Prisoner’s Dilemma, …

Continue reading

What is work, anyway?

A fascinating recent Australian study about the effects of working beyond the age of 40 achieved some press coverage last week, and it prompted me to reflect carefully on what work actually means in our society. The study analysed cognitive test results for 3,000 men and 3,500 women above the age of 40 in Australia, …

Continue reading

Education will save us

It is hard to write anything at all today without the dark pall of the Paris massacres hanging over the words. What happened on Friday night turned an ordinary day and week into an atrocious nightmare for hundreds upon hundreds of people, and as the ripples of the murders spread out into the wider world …

Continue reading

Why diversity is good for your brain – and every other aspect of your life

A great article appeared in a recent Guardian newspaper on the topic of diversity and why it keeps your brain active. The author, Professor Richard Crisp from the Aston Business School, in fact likens the benefits to the brain of living in a multicultural society to the benefits to our bodies of a daily run; when we …

Continue reading

‘Periodic tales’: what the chemical elements remind us about education

As part of this year’s uplifting Oxford University Alumni Weekend, a panel of speakers led an engaging session inspired by Hugh Aldersey-Williams’ new book, ‘Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements’. The author himself spoke, and explored how artists, sculptors and poets across the ages have used the elements, imbuing them with meaning and …

Continue reading

Learning from ants: the power of social connection

Standing on the upper concourse of London Waterloo station this morning, looking down at all the people moving purposefully to and from the platforms, I was reminded very strongly of something I had spotted earlier in the summer while on holiday. One afternoon, sitting outside in the sun, I noticed movement on the paving stones …

Continue reading

A terrifying experience at Tate Britain

It is not often that I am terrified by a work of art, but this would not be too strong a description of what happened to me last Friday. I was in London for a lunch time meeting connected with the Girls’ Schools Association, and because I was slightly early, I popped into Tate Britain …

Continue reading