No to navel-gazing

November 5, 2009

I recognised the story of social scientists' tendency to "address their peers rather than distressed mankind" ("Whither art: vanity is killing social sciences and the humanities", 29 October). Such navel-gazing could be the death of the discipline.

Before the last RAE, a geography department that fancied its chances of a top ranking dismissed my research because it addressed the real world, not solely other geographers. To be really "world class", I was told, I had to address other geographers and forget the real world. I left that department to engage with reality. I want social science to rise to the world's challenges, not turn its back on them.

Sara C. MacKian, Senior lecturer, faculty of health and social care, The Open University.

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

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