Overcoming the Lucasian Professors’ Arrogance

by Bruce Camber

Throughout the world. When a person reaches a certain stature, as more and more people affirm one’s work, there is reason for humility, but arrogance is encouraged and usually wins. We want heroes and leaders and people who are confident of their positions.  In time, humility drops away; and “It must be right;  I must be right,” ascends.

Most people come and go. We live and die and there is no accretion of affirmations. And, most of us are just fine with that.  The people who become Lucasian professors are rather different.

Lucasian Professors. A thoroughly Cambridge University icon since 1663, King Charles II formally recognized it on 18 January 1664. Described as one of the most prestigious academic posts in the world, the first person so designated was Isaac Barrow (1663-1669). Sir Isaac Newton was the second (1669-1702).  The 17th Lucasian Professor was Stephen Hawking (1979-2009).  Newton formalized and institutionalized absolute space and time.  Hawking formalized and institutionalized the big bang theory.

Over the years we are slowly discovering how both have limited our perspectives and ideation about the deeper nature of reality. Both concepts are incomplete and ten to limit discussion and exploration. More…