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Pursuing knowledge: The unpopular choice

When: Wednesday, 24 October 2018 - Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Where: Braamfontein Campus East
Senate Room, 2nd floor, Solomon Mahlangu House
Start time:18:00

Professor Charis Harley from the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics will present her inaugural lecture.

Scientific achievement and the development of economic success has been the focus of universities, to varying degrees, since their first inception. More specifically, the research engendered by these academic institutions has been a part of humanity's attempts to seek truth. From this purpose followed certain intellectual and moral obligations, such as the continual support and sanctioning of debates around the merits of past and current ideas, and the development of those minds eager to attain knowledge. However, as society's norms and values have altered, so too have the pressures faced by universities, and the academics therein. Having transformed at the behest of so many, at times opposing forces, we should re-evaluate what we define our purpose to be, and how we aim to achieve it. Simplistically, are academics losing relevance? Are we still perceived as part of the intellectual elite of our era? Do we still hold with high regard the pursuit of knowledge, and aim to produce individuals who will contribute to society? Or have the pressures we face led to our consensual participation in a race for popularity, ultimate group righteousness, and hence continual intellectual comfort?

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