Keep them guessing

August 4, 2011

I note that Lord Rees, master of Trinity College, Cambridge and former president of the Royal Society, in a conference on the future of the humanities has said that while it is accepted that scientists speak in a language that lay people often cannot understand, the problem for historians is that their work may not be "completely incomprehensible" to ordinary people, who may therefore wonder how much research effort has really been required ("Unruly humanities scholars threaten the discipline, event hears", 28 July).

This must explain the significant number of largely incomprehensible history papers I have heard or read down the years. Those concerned were simply trying to protect their jobs by speaking or writing in code.

Keith Flett, London

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