11 tweets that show what happens if you publicly dismiss the work of academics

When a UK politician questioned the value of academia, scholars were quick to respond, finds Tommaso Grant

November 1, 2016
Men using smartphones against Twitter backdrop
Source: Reuters

Claims of academia being out of touch with the “real world” are hardly new. This week, it was the turn of a Conservative MP in the UK to draw the ire of many after a Twitter attack on the profession. 

Glyn Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire, posted the tweet on 29 October, inspiring vast numbers of academics to defend their honour, uniting under the hashtag #realworldacademic, a term coined by Times Higher Education's very own editor-at-large, Phil Baty.

Some scholars' responses to the inflammatory tweet featured plain statements of fact…

...while others focused more on tried-and-tested academic wit.

In fact, light-hearted mocking seemed to be the preferred method of expressing disapproval… 

Mr Davies’ tweet also allowed for some lovely online academic bonding…

 ...while some chose to highlight the irony in a well-paid MP attacking academics for lacking the “common touch”, either through precise, poignant comparisons…

...or through the use of a somewhat blunter instrument:

Beyond the humour, the serious implications of dismissing and demoralising people who have chosen to dedicate themselves to a life of the mind, cannot and should not be ignored.

You can follow the #realworldacademic hashtag on Twitter, where you can also follow THE.

Read next: Real World Academics – a response to Glyn Davies MP


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Print headline: A lesson from Twitter: don’t dismiss academics’ work

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