Retired get into gear

April 14, 2000

Many retired academics will agree with the results and suggestions of the survey undertaken by Barbara Tizard ("When are retired academics not?", THES, March 24).

Among the retirement shocks for the active is the lack of automatic secretarial and office resources and access to travel funds. Universities understandably are often unable to meet requests for assistance or space.

The survey's conclusions in part call for the creation of a national institute. This would avoid wasting such a reservoir of talent. Its formation would benefit not only members through mutual encouragement, exchange of ideas and hopefully dedicated funding, but also the wider communities. An informal group at the Royal Society of Edinburgh has begun examining similar issues in relation to its fellowship. It would be useful to coordinate with similar developments elsewhere.

Robin J. Knops. Emeritus professor. Heriot-Watt University.

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