Masters in Holistic Science

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* Daniel C. Wahl: “How did the idea of setting up a Masters in Holistic Science come about and can you tell a little bit about the story of how you actually set it up?”

Brian Goodwin: “Ever since my experiences at the University of Sussex in the 60s and 70s when you had that kind of period of ‘enlightenment’ — I mean the 60s phenomena was remarkable and at Sussex it was really well developed — and it gave me a sense that we need to some extent abolish the boundaries between all the subjects but not loose any of the rigour. Now that sounds contradictory, but you can be very rigorous in your thinking and your analysis, while at the same time encompassing all the range of these different ways of knowing.

Now that is a bit of a challenge and to some extent I did not know what the solution was and I still don’t, but I was exploring that at the University of Sussex and then at the Open University — but there are boundaries to academic permission and so when I came to Schumacher College in 1996 I was really rather astonished that it was possible to explore this territory of holistic science systematically — grounded it in Chaos, Complexity and Gaia Theory, incorporating all these different components.

And of course with Stephan Harding, together, we constructed this programme that was accepted by Plymouth [University]. The bits that have been not adequately developed and are still being developed are the areas of experiential learning and practical engagement with the land and with buildings — the implementation of holistic science in holistic living. That’s where the masters has been going for the last five years and now there is a need for a real push in that direction.” (