A Brand of controversy

September 5, 1997

ANDREW MARKS'S letter (THES, August 22) represented the right way to deal with Brand's stream of puerile nonsense - to demolish it by argument - but it was absolutely the wrong reaction to the news of Edinburgh's betrayal of intellectual life. For a university to dismiss one of its members purely for putting forward an argument is to show a complete absence of faith in the very foundations of any university's existence. Brand's self-dramatising will be greatly strengthened by this action; the position of Edinburgh University will be immeasurably weakened.

Tony Sudbery

Department of mathematics University of York

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