Saving our bacon

April 28, 2011

In a move that Janet Fluellen, our Director of Curriculum Development, described as "profoundly logical", the Department of Social Sciences at our university will soon be merged with the Department of Sausage Studies.

Ms Fluellen told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that there were "serious intellectual affinities" between the two areas. Although it was true that such leading social scientists as Max Weber and Émile Durkheim had in the past tended to neglect the explicit study of pork products, she anticipated "real synergy" between the disciplines in the study of the role of cultural relativism in sausage appreciation, the embourgeoisement of sausage consumption, the phallocentrism of sausage shape and size, and the globalisation of the hot dog.

She denied that the move was in any way prompted by the university's wish to promote purely vocational courses. Although past Sausage Studies graduates had largely gravitated towards pork-oriented careers, she believed that the present readiness of Sausage Studies courses to encompass such diverse disciplines as pork pie and bacon production meant that the Department of Sausage Studies was already a place where, in the words of J.H. Newman, "the intellect may safely range and speculate".

I want to get inside your head

"Frankly, the evidence seems to be against them." This was the reaction of the Head of our Neuroscience Department, Dr E.G. Loeb, to the recent denial by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council that it had singled out neuroscience for major cuts in funding.

Dr Loeb claimed that an anonymous correspondent had kindly sent him a cranial map of one of the council's leading members. Examination of the neural circuitry in this "connectome" had revealed an enlarged "falsehood area".

However, Dr Loeb pointed out that this was not a "definitive finding" in view of the purely anecdotal evidence that funding councils tended "as a matter of course" to favour the employment of professional confabulators.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

A little reassuring thought for all those on phased severance (I hope it helps):

"If you haven't got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have that you don't want."

We gotta get out of this place

Kirk Swavely, our Senior Manager, External Relations, has publicly praised the University of Winchester for the "commendable manner in which it has broken free from the ivory tower" by staging a theatre project involving its own students and inmates from the local prison.

He was, however, quick to point out that Poppleton had pioneered this form of external relationship with last year's football match between a group of its undergraduates and a team drawn from the inmates of Poppleton's maximum-security prison.

The result had been a satisfactory draw, but there were no intentions to repeat the initiative. For although all the category-A prisoners had been returned to the prison after the game, a post-match analysis revealed that they had been followed into their cells by six defectors from the student side.

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