Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Academics 'Dare to Know' Only in Retirement

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Academics 'Dare to Know' Only in Retirement

Article excerpt

Older academics are taking early retirement to pursue "authentic study" because of modern constraints on researchers.

That was the view of Vanessa Pupavac, lecturer in international relations at the University of Nottingham, one of the panel members in a debate held during this year's Battle of Ideas festival in London.

Speaking on a panel held on 21 October titled "Research for the Sake of It?", Dr Pupavac claimed that "the old Enlightenment ideal of 'dare to know' was getting a bit wobbly" thanks to administrative pressures.

She added that some academics were retiring early "in order to carry out the kind of authentic study that is difficult within university frameworks".

Meanwhile, James Ladyman, head of the department of philosophy at the University of Bristol, argued that the "impact" agenda in research posed "dangers of hype replacing rigour".

However, Clive Bloom, emeritus professor of English and American studies at Middlesex University, said that in the humanities "you don't need grant funding to do research - just get on and do it".

He also had little time for "peer group assessment", which he saw as "people sitting around trying to stop you publishing what you want". …

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