Only limiting the damage?

September 22, 2011

Both the debates about David Starkey's Newsnight appearance (THE passim) and the work of Satoshi Kanazawa are being discussed in terms of professionalism and whether academics are entitled to express offensive opinions, when the real issue is the social implications of such flawed assertions.

On the "race" front, unsubstantiated allegations jeopardise hard-won gains because the essentialist thinking that scholars have been working to eradicate is being revived. In Kanazawa's case, the LSE took appropriate action, but what will the future bring when his 12-month ban on publishing in non-peer-reviewed outlets is lifted, given that he caused an earlier race row five years ago?

Will social and ethical accountability structures stop future research misconduct or are they merely designed for damage control?

Ruth Mieschbuehler, PhD student, University of Derby

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

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry