‘the PhD experience’

I am thinking of writing a longish post on my experiences as a PhD, perhaps this will spur me on before I forget, and send over the idea to half-baked ventures I promised to do and never did.


Patter is currently on two weeks annual leave. (Faint sounds of cheering.) So thenext four posts are reprints of some otherwriting that might be of interest to Patter readers.This is theforeword I wrote to a new anthology of Australian doctoral researcher stories – Postgraduate study in Australia: surviving and succeeding.It’s edited by Chris McMaster, Caterina McMaster, Ben Whitburn and Inger Mewburn. If you enjoy reading about other people’s experiences of the PhD thenthis bookwill interest you.

The Hungarian social scientist Michael Polanyi wrote a great deal that was relevant to the ways in which learning occurs. Polanyi argued that all knowledge production was an act of creation which was profoundly about the person, their commitments and passions. He proposed that much of what is often understood as systematic, ‘objective’ and the product of logical reasoning, was actually enmeshed in informed hunches, dreams and intuitions based in ‘tacit’ knowledge…

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