Global crisis

September 10, 1999

Copying (as I am) one person's work or saying without acknowledgment is surely "plagiarism", but copying many people's is called "research"... Well, Stevan Harnad's use and naming of behaviourist B. F. Skinner (Letters, THES, September 3) makes him safe on the first score.

All the same, perhaps he should apply his behaviourism in another way: by considering whether, under our current socio-economic and political system, nothing fails like success - if such success reinforces modes of thinking, working and living that are destructive and flawed.

There is a global, environmental, social and political crisis that threatens to undo us all. Reigning values cannot be free of blame, nor the exams promoting them.

Richard Friend

London

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