Among these men you can count some of history’s greatest minds, people whose discoveries and breakthroughs expanded our understanding of the world: Newton, Galileo, Aristotle, Darwin and, of course, arguably the greatest polymath of them all, da Vinci, who once said: “Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses – especially learn how to see. Realise that everything connects to everything else”.
The polymath legacy of achievement continues today. Michigan State University researchers found that Nobel Prize-winning scientists are significantly more likely to sing, dance, act, create visual art, write poetry and be a musician than the average scientist.
One of the many advantages the polymath enjoys over the specialist, is the ability to draw on knowledge and expertise from diverse fields to tackle problems from a myriad of angles.
So, whether you want to reclaim a dream, pursue an interest you’ve always been curious about or make a career change, the onus is on you to open up new dimensions of your being.
Like the high-achieving men that follow, you’ll give yourself a greater chance at finding personal fulfilment, be better placed to make a tangible contribution to society, and, not insignificantly, be better company at dinner parties.
Dr Vyom Sharma
Dr Vyom Sharma, 34, is a Melbourne GP and an award-winning magician who’s performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was a grand finalist on Australia’s Got Talent. He’s also a health commentator and writer. While his fields are distinct, his skills often overlap.
Mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, author.
Philosopher with work spanning physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, poetry, politics, meteorology and geology, among others.
Businessman, industrial designer, engineer.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, architect.
Nurse, statistician, theologian.
Naturalist, geologist and biologist
Writer, printer, politician, scientist, inventor, activist, statesman, diplomat
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Writer, botanist, physicist.
Actor, wrestler, footballer, producer, businessman
Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom, 48, holds academic qualifications that span mathematics, mathematical logic, artificial intelligence, physics and computational neuroscience. He is founder of the multidisciplinary Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) at the University of Oxford, which investigates big-picture questions about humanity and existential risk. He has dabbled in stand-up comedy and is an occasional poet.
Dr Chris Brown
Dr Chris Brown, 42, is a vet, TV presenter and an accomplished wildlife photographer who works as an ambassador for Canon. As Brown has found, skills in one field can set you up for success in another.