For what you are about to receive, you’re welcome

January 5, 2017

Mark Readman thoughtfully provided an 11-point guide to help selfish academics ensure that they stand out at a conference (“How to act like a superstar scholar”, Opinion, 15 December). But might I offer a 12th point?

  • Universalise, don’t localise.

You speak the greatest language, spoken all the way around the world, right? So your research is universal, too. Don’t suggest that as your findings come from here in the anglophone UK – or Australia, or New Zealand, or the US – they might apply only here. That kind of humble “we need research in other countries” stuff is for all those foreigners in your audience.

Your findings are already universal, like your language. Speak grandly. Speak universally.

Also, don’t for a minute think that your findings might have arisen just because we do things oddly here. And remember, if anyone questions the wider applicability of your research to their country, simply say: “Well, I don’t know the circumstances over there, so I’ve no idea.” That way, you localise them, not yourself.

ThatPardoe
Via timeshighereducation.com


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

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
Register

Reader's comments (1)

The craven and despicable decision of most European universities to teach in a language which they suppose to be English is a disaster. On the evidence of European conferences which I have attended, most scholars are unable to express themselves adequately in "English" But their governments impose this requirement, so that grant applications, which have sadly become the be-all and end-all of most universities, must be made in "English". It is hard to imagine a more effective for of intellectual suicide.

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

Female professor

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

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

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

But the highest value UK spin-out companies mainly come from research-intensives, latest figures show