Nathan Emmerich (Letters, May) is rightly concerned at the promotion of a view of research students as infantile. But humour has a long and respected role in challenging the status quo. Jorge Cham's weekly cartoon Piled Higher and Deeper may well do as much for better treatment of research students as any amount of improved oversight, formalised supervision or professionalisation of postgraduate research. For every person thinking "no PhD student should be treated like that", there may be another thinking "oh dear, I treat PhD students like that".
Stewart Eyres, PhD supervisor, University of Central Lancashire.