The Art/Science of the Polymath


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Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous polymaths ever to live. But did the polymath mind die with the end of the Renaissance?

We bring together a panel of contemporary British polymaths to challenge the idea that the Renaissance mind is history.

Chaired by University Challenge star and mathematician Bobby Seagull and featuring: visual artist and economic macro strategist Davey Jose, Miss England 2017, oncologist, and singer Stephanie Hill and historian Peter Burke, who specialises in the history of knowledge.

Peter Burke is among the most distinguished cultural historians of his generation. Now Professor Emeritus of Cultural History at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Emmanuel College, he has written on themes ranging from ‘high’ culture, particularly the Italian Renaissance, to the popular culture of early modern Europe. He has published extensively and his books have been translated into 24 languages.

Davey Jose is an artist, mathematician, technologist, inventor, short-film maker and juggles this working full-time in finance (from mergers & acquisitions, trading to research). In 2019 he exhibited 18 oil paintings as part of his 1st solo exhibition, Living with Spinal Cord Injury, at the National Spinal Injuries Centre (the spiritual birthplace of the Paralympics), inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s anatomical drawings. The exhibition also premiered in virtual reality at the same time as in reality. He read mathematics and computer science at Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

Stephanie Hill is an established classical-crossover performer. She is also a former winner of the Miss England 2017 competition, and represented the UK at the Miss World 2017 competition. Stephanie has a First Class Bachelor of Science Degree in Radiotherapy and Oncology, and is currently studying a masters in Translational Oncology at The University of Sheffield Medical School. Not content with the gruelling demands of her studies, Stephanie has a flurry of other activities she likes to take part in including being a trained ballet, tap and ballroom dancer and equestrian competitions with her horse, Piggles.

Bobby Seagull is a television presenter (Monkman & Seagull's Genius Guide), author of The Life Changing Magic of Numbers, educator and doctoral student of mathematics and education who rose to fame during University Challenge 2017. Bobby is also a school teacher and frequently chairs educational conferences and events whilst somehow finds time to write a column for the Financial Times and compile puzzles for BBC Radio 4.


Name: The Art/Science of the Polymath
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546