Academic Brainwashing

I have often been struck in my multiple careers by how professional life is often maintained by a form of brainwashing. Any teacher familiar with the mixture of morally decadent coursework and social engineering that constitutes many A-levels these days will see my point. So will anyone toiling away in the publish-or- perish environment of academia, with its prescribed mindsets and subtle bigotries.

It's also of course the case that many universities are barely centres of learning at all, and that even the best ones rely on the unwillingness of their employees to push points to strip them of money or to trash them via the kangaroo courts that often end careers. Even the University of Chicago, for instance, once turned around to me and refused to pay for two years' worth of very successful lectures after a byzantine dispute about a cheque they lost.

So I was very struck by this lovely article about the trials and perils of an academic I admire, Lisa Ruddick, and I thought that I might recommend it to you too as an insight into why very few people with any brains or ambition go near what was described to me as 'the knowledge transfer' industry these days. Thank God I'm freelance, frankly. Chicago is very lucky to have a woman like Ruddick working for it, and I wish her well.


bob said…
I printed out the Lisa R piece and just read it today. It is superb. Thanks
Martin Meenagh said…
Thanks Bob. Lisa is, as they say, a 'class act', and I enjoyed the piece--I'm very glad you did too. Cheers!

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