Letter: We seek truth, public seeks Oprah (4)

October 19, 2001

A few days before reading Frank Furedi's article, I heard a senior academic explain this year's increased focus on research methodology training to a group of new PhDs. Most of your time in your first year, the academic said apologetically, is meant to be spent on training and work that does not relate directly to your research topic.

The point was clear: officially, vocational research training is more important than your research topic.

Big ideas come from knowledge, not skills. If the big ideas of the future are not going to come from today's skills-oriented universities or the policy focused think-tanks, where will they come from?

Gregor Claude
Doctoral student
Centre for Cultural Studies
Goldsmiths College

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