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Polymath Society

Who we are:

The university experience these days is very subject-specific. Apart from a few joint-honours degrees, you are very much encouraged to stick to your academic school, and that's fine for day-to-day studies. But that wasn't always the case, and Sussex used to lead the world in interdisciplinary studies; a Sussex student 50 years ago would have to study two different fields (say Biology and History), and do joint research projects on them. At Polymath society, we try in our own small way to rekindle some of that academic experimentation. 
Every week, one of our members gives a short introduction into a subject they are passionate about (whether they are studying it or not). We then try to open a discussion using our different backgrounds to find new paths to analyse it. 

But why?

Let's say you're a politics student, and you decide to give a talk about some interesting political phenomenon. The chances are you've never wondered what a neuroscientist, or psychologist, or physicist might think about that event. Every week I'm surprised by the incredible range of perspectives on one single event that a group of students from different backgrounds can have. 

And every week I'm convinced more and more that Polymath society is a great and necessary society because nowhere on campus besides here can you find such a fascinating process.

We've held talks on just about everything: from the deep and thoughtful, to the whacky and wonderful; from the history of philosophy, to the remarkable world of Aphantasia (a condition where one cannot visually imagine anything); and from Obama's rhetoric, to the intricacies of male shaving habits. There will certainly be a talk for you this term.


We hold meetings every Thursday at 6pm. For more details on the topic of this week's talk, visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/477539088992897/

We welcome new members throughout the year: just turn up to one of the meetings and say hi!


About Polymath Society:

- What is a polymath?

A person of wide knowledge or learning.

- Do I have to be a polymath to join?

Of course not! The society welcomes anyone interested in encountering new ideas or discussing interesting topics.

- What happens in the meetings?

A member introduces a topic with a short presentation. The topic is then opened for discussion, and everyone present is free to contribute. Often the most fun comes out of the discussion or conversations that happen after the meetings are over, perhaps over a coffee or a beer.

- Do I have to give a presentation?

Only if you want to! Giving a talk (and participating in discussions) is entirely voluntary. You can just come along and enjoy the stimulating atmosphere and debate!

- How do I become a member?

Just turn up to one of the meetings and say hi!

- When and where are meetings?

Every Thursday at 6pm, more details on our Facebook page.

- Do I have to pay to become a member?

No, membership is free.




Join us


  • Polymath Society Standard Membership£0.00

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Email: activities@sussexstudent.com
Office: Activities Centre, 1st floor, Falmer House

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Societies and Student Media Administrator - Liz Alcock

Email: liz.a@sussexstudent.com
Phone: 01273 873415
Office: Activities Centre, 1st floor, Falmer House

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