POLYMATHS ~ LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING FORWARD:

THE INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL VALUE OF POLYMATHY

“Through this experience, I was able to question my own assumptions about the world and generate more nuanced, innovative, and complex frameworks of understanding that I carry with me.”

~Harman Fellow, 2014

 

“The Academy was such a judgement free space, I loved coming to the sessions, eating easy food and talking about the world.”

~Harman Fellow, 2018

 

This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study.  In celebration of this milestone, we asked our 250-strong community of Harman Fellows, starting with the class of 2011, to send us five of the most memorable and meaningful polymathic pizza sessions they attended. With their entries, a consensus emerged around ideas of the internal and external impact the Polymathic Academy had on their lives.  One fellow wrote us:

 

I loved when people were given the space to imagine things, to think beyond the limits of normal academic thought and use their knowledge to help imagine a better future or re-examine the present through that lens.

 

For our Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 programs, in homage to our fellows and the remarkably rich decade that this experiment we call polymathy has been in practice and production, we will recreate the “pizza top hits” that look at the internal and external application of polymathy to our lives through multiple fields of inquiry ~ while also acknowledging what Heraclitus asserted 2500 years ago: “one can never step in the same river twice!” In the spring we will join forces with the Ahmanson Lab and explore these concepts through both cognitive and haptic approaches. Our Harman Fellows were clear…the consumption of pizza and conversation on virtually everything generated ways of approaching life that were unseen in the moment but proved immeasurably valuable in an unforeseeable future.  The Pizza sessions they most remembered possess enduring power in their lives, and they wish to pass on their wisdom to the polymaths who will follow in their footsteps.  So heed their counsel and visit the Harman Academy for, as one of our esteemed fellows said, “a place for free knowledge”… and pizza!

 

All sessions held on Wednesdays, 5p to 6:30 unless otherwise noted.