Earlier this month, Schumacher College was pleased to hold what is believed to be the first ever Holistic Science conference at Dartington. Our Holistic Science programme, in collaboration with partners at The Field Centre and the Holistic Science Journal, organised a three day event to bring together academics and practitioners with a wide range of perspectives on this increasingly relevant subject, and looking at the legacy of three key figures who opened up the field to further study: Henri Bortoft, Margaret Colquhoun and Brian Goodwin. Together with Stephan Harding, these three individuals were also instrumental in shaping the Holistic Science MSc and laying the foundation for other masters at Schumacher College. Keynotes were Isis Brook, a Research Fellow at Crossfields Institute writing on phenomenology, plants, landscapes, and Goethe’s approach to nature, and Harvey Shoolman, founder of the British Academy funded Newton Manuscript Project whose research explores relationship of the history of mathematical thought to the life-sciences and philosophy.

Further contributions were given by the following: Further contributions were given by: Seaton Baxter, Jonathan Code, Andrew Compton, Michael Evans, Philip Franses, Aonghus Gordon, Emma Kidd, Alexandra Lagaisse, Roland Playle, Simon Reakes, Judyth Sassoon, Claudio Stern, Mike Wride, as well as Schumacher College’s Holistic Science lecturers Troy Vine and Stephan Harding.

Judyth Sassoon lecturing in the Great Hall

Judyth Sassoon (University of Bristol) talking about the idea of type in biology

Stephan Harding

Stephan Harding (Schumacher College) 

Judyth Sassoon (University of Bristol), Emma Kidd (Glasgow Caledonian University), Harvey Shoolman (London Metropolitan University), Claudio Stern (University College London), Isis Brook (Crossfields Institute) and Mike Wride (University of Limerick).

Judyth Sassoon (Uni. of Bristol), Emma Kidd (Glasgow Caledonian Uni.), Harvey Shoolman (London Metropolitan Uni.), Claudio Stern (UCL), Isis Brook (Crossfields Institute) and Mike Wride (Uni. of Limerick)

Isis Brook talking about plant agency.

Isis Brook talking about plant agency

Dartington Hall after the conference

After the conference

Troy Vine with some of next year's Holistic Science

Troy Vine with some of next year’s Holistic Science students

Holistic Science is gaining real momentum at Schumacher College, with this conference just one of various activities led by Troy Vine to expand the impact of the programme. Our series of monthly online public lectures have been viewed by thousands of people around the world – watch any past talks here for free; we’re holding short courses in archetypal geometry and the four elements; and various other blogs and podcasts!

If you are interested in studying Holistic Science here at Schumacher College in January 2022, we are currently accepting applications preferably before our application deadline on 21 October. Please visit the course page via this link for more information. For enquiries, contact Troy Vine direct at troy.vine@dartington.org

Photos by Simon Reakes