‘Becoming expert - why it matters to us all’, an Evening Lecture with Roger Kneebone

Join Professor Roger Kneebone in this talk as he explores what it means to become an expert in a creative practice

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, V&A South Kensington

  • Free event

    Booking is essential.

Past Event

Drawing on his recent book Expert (Penguin, 2021), Professor Roger Kneebone explores the nature of expert practice and asks how craftspeople, performers, clinicians and scientists can enrich one another’s understanding of the embodied activity on which their work depends.

Roger outlines a path from knowing nothing about an area of practice to gaining sufficient knowledge, skill and wisdom to shape the direction of others entering the field. Alongside his own experience as a surgeon, GP and researcher, he tells the stories of over twenty experts he has worked with and studied. From wood engravers and taxidermists to hair stylists, fighter pilots and magicians, each sheds light on the expert path. 

Roger highlights human aspects of becoming expert which are often overlooked - coping with error and its consequences, learning to improvise, shifting your attentional focus from yourself to whoever your work is for, and passing on your knowledge and wisdom to others. 

In a time when the value of experts is often contested, sustained commitment can seem outdated. This is a dangerous misconception. We are all on a path towards becoming expert, a fundamental human process which requires decades of focus and support, and which has no end.

This event is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of the 'Encounters on the Shop Floor' project.

The lecture will be followed by a free reception in the Silver Galleries. All welcome.

Background image: Book cover of Penguin edition of Roger Knebone latest book