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The Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.

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Staff books include:

Cain 2004 Exploring the Borderlands

Create a Wiser World

Publication date: Feb 6, 2014 9:29:32 AM

Start: Mar 20, 2014 6:00:00 PM

Location: UCL Roberts Building, room 106

  • Nicholas Maxwell (link)
  • Thursday, 20 March 2014
  • 6pm-7.30pm followed by a book signing / drinks reception
  • Lecture Room 106, First Floor, Robert Building, UCL, Torrington Place (entrance in Malet Place), London, WC1E 7JE (map)
  • FREE but please register (link)


In order to make progress towards a better world we need to learn how to do it. And for that we need institutions of learning rationally designed and devoted to helping us solve our global problems, make progress towards a better world. It is just this that we lack at present. Our universities pursue knowledge. They are neither designed nor devoted to helping humanity learn how to tackle global problems — problems of living — in more intelligent, humane and effective ways. That, this book argues, is the key disaster of our times, the crisis behind all the others: our failure to have developed our institutions of learning so that they are rationally organized to help us solve our problems of living — above all, our global problems. Having universities devoted almost exclusively to the pursuit of knowledge is a recipe for disaster. Scientific knowledge and technological know-how have unquestionably brought great benefits to humanity. But they have also made possible — even caused — our current global crises, above all the impending crisis of global warming.

Nicholas Maxwell will argue that we need urgently to bring about a revolution in universities round the world so that their basic aim becomes wisdom, and not just knowledge.

Nicholas Maxwell is Emeritus Reader in History and Philosophy of Science, UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies.  He is author of How universities can help create a wiser world: The urgent need for an academic revolution. Imprint Academic: Exeter.

Page last modified on 06 feb 14 09:19 by Joe Cain

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