The THES Diary

February 19, 1999

The right hand of Hod Sick as a parrot after being sacked for claiming paedophilia is not always harmful and saying blacks are usually less intelligent than whites, former Edinburgh University psychology lecturer Chris Brand has called foul. Comparing himself with sacked England manager Glenn Hoddle, he said: "People have this new religion called political correctness that says we must worship any minority. We now have to worship blacks, the handicapped and women, even though they are not a minority. Hoddle is supposed to avoid any reference to his religious beliefs and then is condemned by the prime minister when he doesn't. In that sense he and I are very similar."

Go ask the bankers!

Keith Binding of Andersen Consulting's life science group had a brainwave at last week's Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals conference on technology transfer. What did delegates think of university staff making voluntary contributions to a pool of money that would support spin-off firms and technology transfer from institutions? In return, staff would have a share in the venture and its success.

One guffawing academic said that while people in the city were highly paid, had Mr Binding any idea of the disposable income of most academics? Well yes, admitted Mr Binding, the idea clearly had a few drawbacks.

Third World thank you Reluctant thank-you letter writers could learn a few manners from Ghana.

Robin Adamson, head of Dundee University's language centre, has been overwhelmed with thank-you cards after sending a large dictionary to the Ghana Institute of Languages in Accra last year.

Just one example: "Dear and Highly Valued Dr Adamson, you live such a generous and enviable life and you show concern towards the problems and needs of others. Surely our good God will richly bless you and reward you for your magnanimity. Thanks a lot."

Educational Carry On Ooh missus, have a look at what academics at Sussex University are getting up to. Andy Medhurst, lecturer in media studies, is holding a Carry On conference, part of the National Film Theatre's Carry On season.

He wants to cast a cool researcher's eye over the comedies, noting: "The films are important and interesting but they aren't perfect. Even the very good films have boring stretches. It is what they say about social history that makes them really interesting." Shame on anyone who thought it was something else.

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