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Adbusters: Professor Keen, if you were a student of economics right now, what would you do? What advice do you have for young people entering the field?

Steve Keen: Well the very first thing is come and study with me in Kingston. There’s Goldsmith in London as well as Leeds . . . that’s about it for unorthodox thought around the planet. You’ve also got the New School of Social Research in America and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, just outside of Boston. Come and study with the non-orthodox people and get equipped for the times ahead. Don’t waste too much of your time learning neoclassical economics. And check out some cutting edge developments in the field. There are departments of physics now getting involved in economics. They call themselves econophysicists and their numbers are growing. Actually the first professor of econophysics was appointed at Kings College in London about a year ago. They are using the tools of physics to analyze economic systems. And the great thing about physicists is that they don’t complain when nuclear particles aren’t in equilibrium, they like this kind of thing. Rather than being horrified by markets being in disequilibrium, they say, “oh interesting non-equilibrium system, I wonder what methods of analysis will work here,” which is a very realistic and empirical attitude. Econophysics is a rich avenue for the development of non-orthodox economics — a very exciting new territory for budding economists to explore.

— Steve Keen is head of the School of Economics, Politics & History at Kingston University, London.

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