Eton and Holyport College have launched an exciting new inter-school society for innovation in interdisciplinary inquiry. Smith Soc is named after Old Etonian, John Maynard Smith (1920-2004), the interdisciplinary scholar whose ground-breaking work spanned maths, engineering, evolutionary biology and economics. This year marks the centenary of Maynard Smith’s birth.

The new society recognises that the most challenging problems facing our generation, from global pandemics to increasing inequality and climate change, require  innovation solutions, which will span disciplines ranging from the arts to the sciences.  The Smith Society will also encourage and support students to apply for joint honours courses at university, such as Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics (PPL) and Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS).

For the inaugural Smith Soc meeting, we were delighted to welcome Professor Eric Beinhocker who gave an engaging talk on ‘New Economic and Moral Foundations for the Anthropocene’ which danced between the fields of economics and evolution, politics and philosophy.

Professor Beinhocker is the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) at the University of Oxford and a professor of public policy.  He is the author of the ground-breaking book, The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics.

Going forward, we not only have a great schedule of speakers lined up (often offered in partnership with other societies, like Keynes Soc this week), but we will also have sessions in which Eton and Holyport students share their emerging interdisciplinary research.