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.