Amid the ping-pong of debate ("Those who can, get a PhD; those who can't, simply teach anyway", August), has the issue of advancing knowledge by working at a high level of academic discipline in one's subject field been touched upon? It's not where the knowledge journey starts, but is where and how the pinnacle of learning is reached. Sadly for students and knowledge, there is a danger zone into which we may well plummet, and the route map for this is the complacent acceptance of pure hand-me-down information offered in a regurgitated fashion.
We not only need up-to-date knowledge in order to teach (and it is researchers who generate this), we also need to inspire our students. If we as academics cannot inspire ourselves to delve deeper into our own disciplines, what hope is there?