Misplaced puritanism 2

October 15, 2009

Claire Fox argues in typically bellicose manner for battle to commence in the university sector. She ponders why there has been no backlash against projects such as Beacons for Public Engagement in defence of disinterested, curiosity-driven research.

Surely the last thing that the university sector needs to do at the moment is to turn on itself and waste its energy on infighting? No one involved in the Beacons project would for one minute dispute the critical importance of blue-skies research, but neither would they deny the value of opening up their academic work to the knowledge and expertise that exists outside their university. In such difficult times as these, it is surely perilous to dismiss the importance of involving the public more fully in our work.

If Fox is prepared to leave her armour in the wardrobe and equip herself instead with the curiosity she so strongly advocates, we would welcome her - and anyone else who is interested - to an open-house event in Bristol on 25 November to find out more about the Beacons project and the place of public engagement in academic life.

Paul Manners, Director, National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement; www.publicengagement.ac.uk.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns