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March 26, 2004

Laurie Taylor is right: things have moved on since he took his "lump sum" in 1995. We work under research and teaching pressures largely absent in previous generations and his account of our sociology department demonstrates his distance from and nostalgia for academic life.

New staff are deeply committed to teaching and helping create conditions in which vibrant intellectual work can flourish. But when Taylor visited, he seemed preoccupied with tittle-tattle (sample question:

"Surely, lecturer A must have been incensed by lecturer B's promotion?").

Is this his alternative to "spaghetti publishing"?

Nicholas Gane, Anne Kerr, Amanda Rees and Robin Wooffitt
York University

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