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Bioengineering: A jack of all trades or a master of none?

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Fale Pasifika

20-26 Wynyard Street

City Campus University of Auckland

Auckland, 1010

New Zealand

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You are invited to the Inaugural Lecture of Professor Thor Besier.

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Modern scholarship has encouraged specialisation, to the point that our universities segregate knowledge into distinct ’disciplines’. We mostly share our knowledge by publishing in domain-specific journals and presenting at conferences attended by ‘like-minded’ scientists within our sphere of interest (of which, musculoskeletal biomechanics remains the most important!). We are encouraged to develop domain-specific skills and knowledge to become experts in the field. The thought of dabbling in a range of skills and diversifying your interests puts you at risk of being a ‘Jack (or Jackie) of all trades and master of none’. However, the field of bioengineering, by definition, is a broad subject topic and addressing important research questions requires knowledge and expertise across many disciplines. This raises an interesting question, how on earth do we become experts in bioengineering?

I consider myself to be a ‘Jack of all trades’, and mostly believed this to be an attribute rather than a shortcoming in my academic endeavours. I was encouraged when I recently found out that the complete quote is in fact “A Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one”, thus having quite the opposite meaning to that frequently implied. This talk will explore my windy path to becoming a so-called expert in the field of bioengineering (there is a clever play on words here, which you will find out if you come to my talk) and why it is ok to dabble in other disciplines. I will highlight the importance of doing something that you enjoy, being resilient, and making an impact beyond academic publication.

  • Refreshments begin at 5:15pm
  • Lecuture begins at 6pm

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Fale Pasifika

20-26 Wynyard Street

City Campus University of Auckland

Auckland, 1010

New Zealand

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