I could hardly believe my twitter feed. Someone had hashtagged ‘busyness’ and it wasn’t me. There it was: #busyness.
So I followed the link and this is what I learnt.
The first residents of The Hub at Wellcome Collection, a flagship new space for interdisciplinary projects around health and wellbeing, will investigate the busyness of modern life. Bringing together a rich network of scientists, artists, humanists, clinicians, public health experts, broadcasters and public engagement professionals, the group will explore states of rest and noise, tumult and stillness, and the health implications for lives increasingly lived in a hubbub of activity.
The project will run for a couple of years from October and will be fuelled by a £1 million Wellcome Trust grant. There is a hugely impressive and diverse team led by Dr Felicity Callard of Durham University (who must work just around the corner from where I am writing this). The press release goes on to explain that:
The urge to be busy defines modern life. Rest can seem hard to find, whether in relation to an exhausted body, a racing mind or a hectic city. Should we slow down, or should we embrace intense activity? What effects do each of these states have on the health of our bodies and minds? Such questions frequently find their way into media reports and everyday conversations, but there has never been any sustained interdisciplinary attempt to answer them. The Hub will gather international experts investigating hubbub and rest at different scales, to breathe new life into the questions we ask about rest and busyness.
Yes, let’s improve the quality of questions we ask about rest and busyness! The subject is urgent but we are by and large too tired and stressed to give it worthy attention. It will be fascinating to see what emerges.
I have two other thoughts. First,I hope the team don’t find themselves working too hard on the project. Short-term grant-dependent work can be a relentless driver.
Second, I didn’t spot a reference to spirituality or theology in the interdisciplinary team. Maybe there’ll be time to incorporate that as the project develops.
These are details: many congratulations to the team – I wish you all the best with this exciting venture.