I was in Zürich last weekend. We visited the Fraumünster with its magnificent stained glass windows by Marc Chagall [see my post entitled ‘I and the village‘ on August 14th, 2013] and by Augusto Giacometti (1877-1947). The Kunsthaus Zürich has a large collection of sculptures by another Giacometti, Alberto (1901-1966), a Swiss sculptor, who is famous for his slender statues of people which portray individuals alone in the world. He was part of the existentialist movement in modern art that examined ideas about self-consciousness and our relationship to other people. For me, this echoed a lecture that I contributed last week to a module on Scientific Impact and Reputation as part of our CPD programme [see my post entitled ‘WOW projects, TED talks and indirect reciprocity‘ on August 31st, 2016. In the lecture, I talked about our relationship with other professional people and the development of our technical reputation in their eyes as a result of altruistic sharing of knowledge. This involves communicating with others, building relationships and understanding our place in the community. The post-course assignment is to write a reflective essay on leadership and technical quality; and we know, from past experience, that our delegates will find it difficult to reflect on their experiences and the impact of those experiences on their life and behaviour. Maybe we should help them by including a viewing of existential art in one of the Liverpool art galleries as part of our CPD programme on Science and Technology Leadership?
WOW projects, TED talks, Cosmicomics and indirect reciprocity. What do they have in common? Well, each of them features in a new and rather different education programme that we are launching next month on the University of Liverpool’s campus at 33 Finsbury Square, London. We are targetting mid-career engineers and scientists, working in research and development organisations, who want to develop their skills and advance their careers. I write ‘we’ because it is a joint effort by the School of Engineering at the University and the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory. It has been something of an adventure for me putting the modules together and we hope they will form a voyage of discovery and adventure for our delegates.
In case you are wondering about WOW projects, TED talks, Cosmicomics and indirect reciprocity – they will feature in modules on Science Leadership & Ethics, Technical Communication, Technical Writing, and Technical Reputation respectively. These four five-credit modules plus a work-based project form the programme that leads to a Post-graduate Award. Each module involves a day on campus in London supported by reading and assignments before and afterwards; and we are running a module per month between now and Christmas.