Friday, February 05, 2010

Visit to Australia 7 to 22nd February

Having been fairly unsettled healthwise for over two-weeks, I have recovered in time for my trip to Sydney and Melbourne, leaving this Saturday. Not before time; this is Scotland's coldest winter since records began in 1914 (no wonder the climate lobby have re-named their concerns 'climate chage' in place of yesaterday's Global Wwarming).

Apologies for the absence from posting regularly – you no doubt have noticed – and a bit more forbearance is required until I link up on the net from Monday 8 February (all being well at the Oz end).

My trip is a private visit, mainly to re-visit the haunts of my teen years when I attended the “university of life” as an unaccompanied minor just 15, and, hopefully to meet up with surviving members of my time in Sydney, should I find them.

This is my family’s 70th birthday present – they know the impact that those years had on me from which I graduated with a good 'pass'. On return to Britain, I eventually went to an academic university and graduated from there with honours, having learned lots about economics, but not as much about life as I had learned from the mean (though warm) streets of Sydney.

My academic friends, learning I was making this trip, have asked me to contribute to three informal seminars (no expenses and unpaid of course!), which I am delighted to do. These include an extra-mural debate on the my paper, “The Hidden Adam Smith in his Alleged Theology” (10 February) and on 11 February, evening, a debate on the contribution of theology to Adam Smith’s economic analysis (“Reconciling God and Mamon”).

However, the bulk of my time will be spent ‘normally’, seeing old friends and old sights. I spent weeks in the Mitchell Library researching for my biography of William Bligh (Captain Bligh, the man and his Mutinies, Duckworth, London 1989) and I have visited Australia several times since, on business (my old day-job).

But primarily, I hope to spend some of the time working on various projects including my editing of 'Adam Smith: a moral philosopher and his political economy', Palgrave, for a paperback edition, and my new paper for June on modern accounts of the invisible hand from the 1950s onwards.

But, of course, I shall post on Lost Legacy – back to normal (er, jet-lag permitting).



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