Unskilled please apply

April 14, 2000

If ever proof were needed of the business world's low opinion of academics' practical skills, it comes in a recent missive from headhunters seeking the government's new chief scientific adviser. In an account, which has reached the diary, of specifications for Sir Robert May's successor, the firm stresses that candidates "do not have to have great managerial interest or ability". They are therefore "as likely to be working scientists as heads of departments or institutions". At least interested heads of institutions without managerial interest or ability should be easily spared from the sector.

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