Free time (1 of 2)

May 24, 2012

It is by no means only outside the academy that "Free-range thinkers" (3 May) plough their non-conventional furrows; and it is arguably essential for Foucauldian "fearless speech" to survive and thrive that at least some academics find the courage to refuse to collude with conventional "regimes of 'research' truth" - with the inevitable price to pay being exclusion from the research excellence framework, no research-grant brownie points, zero research-time allocation, little chance of meaningful promotion, and so on.

The principled refusal to play the Establishment research "game" not only reaffirms the critic's crucial cultural task a la Walter Benjamin, but also keeps open a creative innovative space for the kind of paradigmatic scientific transformation that, exactly 50 years on from Thomas Kuhn's seminal The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a moribund late-modern technocratic culture so desperately needs.

Richard House, Research Centre for Therapeutic Education, University of Roehampton

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