Sunday, November 30, 2014

Knowledge is lust

On 29 November 2014 the former President of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and medievalist Frits van Oostrom received a honorary doctorate from the Dutch Open University. He gave a beautiful speech entitled "Knowledge is lust" in which he brought an ode to his former professors, to his fellow researchers, to knowledge and open access to knowledge in general and to the humanities in particular. 

This speech, based on the equation “knowledge = pleasure”, can be read via this link (unfortunately only in Dutch): I translated one paragraph of it to share the pleasure of science and knowledge with as many as possible, for the pure pleasure of sharing:

Because although the arts – or humanities as I prefer to call them now – do not discover laws, they do express immense values. In the context of my work I can mention values such as: the tremendous importance of language, of beauty and historic awareness; the insight that culture and economy are not each other’s opposites; the inspiration that the imagination and those who came before us can convey; love and an eye for the unique; that old and new can enrich each other; that we should appreciate the question mark and most of all that we should not forget the humor as an indispensable bastion against every fanaticism.”

No comments:

Post a Comment