USC Libraries - USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

University of Southern California

USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

polymath n. a person of much or varied learning; a great scholar.”—Oxford English Dictionary

Spring 2012 / Polymathic Pizza - Weird Science
Continuing Questions: What Genes Do Not Yet Explain About Human Individuality


Wednesday, February 8 2012


Doheny Memorial Library, Room 241


Open to undergraduates


While genes determine whether a fertilized egg will become a mouse or a man, there is a level of biological randomness that causes identical twins to differ even before birth. This levels of randomness helps understand the limited success of the human genome projects in finding gene differences that underlie most variation in cancer, heart disease, and longevity.

Caleb Finch

Caleb Finch

Caleb Finch is University Professor and ARCO/Keischnick Professor of Gerontology and Biological Science at USC.  His major research interest is the study of genomic controls of mammalian development and aging.  He has authored and edited numerous books and articles and held distinguished lectureships across the country.  For this work, he has received most of the major awards in biomedical gerontology.  In addition, he has recently co-authored a book for the general public, Aging: A Natural History.

Fall 2014 Series

Quadrant Series with Edwin McCann

The Academy for Polymathic Study guides its enquiries through four flexible pathways or Quadrants:  (1) critical and integrative thinking; (2) study of the polymaths; (3) the tapestry of knowledge; and (4) communication.

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Undergraduate Series:

Polymathic Pizza, Part I: On Being Human

What does being “human” really mean and can we ever plumb the depths of the complexity of our humanity? Is being “human” a social, spiritual, or biological reality –or perhaps some combination of all three? Throughout Fall 2014, we will consider what it means to be human, beginning with the personal and expanding outwards to the global implications of our “humanness.”

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Polymathic Workshops, Panels, and Special Events

In Fall 2014, the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study is partnering with leading global and academic institutions and scholars, holding workshops and symposia to explore topics and issues from a polymathic perspctive.   

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Graduate Series:

Objects of Knowledge IV

Conversations regarding objects of knowledge, visual and material worlds from a polymathic perspective.

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