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

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham