Crisis, what crisis?

April 20, 2007

I'm not sure there is a crisis in the status of public intellectuals given, for example, the number of academic historians involved with blockbuster TV series ("Academics told to push intellectual credentials", April 13). It is a far cry from A. J. P. Taylor making short addresses to camera and being badly thought of for doing so in some sections of academe.

One also notes the trend for academics to be associated with wacky press releases about their research findings - a personal favourite being the naming of the most depressing day of the year - clearly aimed at attracting further research grants.

To cap it all, you quote someone from the Institute of Ideas complaining there are no public intellectuals - proof enough that the breed is thriving.

Keith Flett
London

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