So can we expect a few profs among the "people's peers", to be appointed next year? A spokesman for the House of Lords appointments commission confessed that a number of applications from academics had crossed its desk by last week's deadline - hardly surprising since universities were directly contacted by the commission in its search for candidates.
Does this mean donnish types are particularly suitable for a lordly role? Only if they have a "significant record of achievement in their field or way of life, independence, integrity and an ability to contribute to the workings of the House of Lords". Criminal convictions are no bar.