How Universities Can Help Create a Wiser World: The Urgent Need for an Academic Revolution

Imprint Academic, Exeter, UK.

 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. In this book, I 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.

The book comes highly recommended.  On the back cover there are the following four endorsements:-

Thirty years ago, Nicholas Maxwell first argued that our universities must be rationally designed and devoted to helping us learn how to solve our problems of living. In the intervening years it has become more, not less, urgent that we take up his challenge.

Julian Baggini, editor-in-chief, The Philosophers' Magazine


This book begins by acknowledging that today most people lead longer and healthier lives than previous generations, primarily as a result of “knowledge-inquiry”, mainly in universities.  Perversely, the result is ever-expanding populations, pressing against the limits to growth on a finite planet.  Maxwell gives a good case for addressing these problems by universities putting much greater emphasis on “wisdom-inquiry”.  It is a timely and interesting idea.  I think the book deserves a wide readership.

Professor Lord Robert May, Oxford University


Which ideal matters more to us, knowledge or wisdom? Nicholas Maxwell has long fought staunchly for wisdom in this debate, and in this book he once more points out shrewdly how much our universities need to learn this lesson. It's to be hoped that this time they are listening!

Mary Midgley, Philosopher


Nicholas Maxwell argues that in order to address the problems of global society, we must transform our universities.  At UCL we fully agree and we have already made such changes central to our 2011 Research Strategy "Delivering a Culture of Wisdom". Our UCL Grand Challenges programme, which has so far involved more than 250 academics, is putting these ideas into practice.

David Price, Vice-Provost of Research, University College London


(My publication)Posted:Nov 30 2013, 06:00 PM by NickMaxwell
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