A damaging affair

April 6, 2007

Your sensationalist article "Conferences: places to present new ideas and old mistresses" (March 23) is unworthy of both The Times Higher and the vast majority of academics, for whom conferences are highly enjoyable and intellectually stimulating but also very tiring work.

Typically, a conference consists of 16-18 hours of intellectual debate with one's peers, in both formal and informal settings. Your portrayal of the peccadilloes of a tiny minority (and their prurient "rubbing of hands" at "the start of the conference season") is more suited to the pages of the Sunday Sport than The Times Higher .

That article does significant damage to the already vastly misunderstood work of academics.

Andrew A. Adams.
Reading University

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