Of course, we all empathise with Tim Birkhead in his piece on the scourge of email (Working Knowledge, November 12).
However, let us not forget that it deserves great credit for silencing that other monster in every academic's office - the telephone.
It's not just the time you used to spend speaking to people you rather wouldn't, but also all that periodic redialling when all you really needed to do was to send a message.
Alan J. McCarthy
School of Biological Sciences