|Academic Survey 2010|
I have just been asked to fill in the Academic Survey 2010 of the so-called Intelligence unit. They asked me for my opinion. I gave it:
A university, like a government, should serve society as a whole and must resist the privileging of any single part of that society. Excellence in research is certainly commendable when it concerns research that benefits the whole and does not depend on the kindling of those partial desires which, to me at least, appear to be doing their best to tear society apart and make it subject to a disastrous envy and stupid rivalry. I consider a quality student one who takes part in society well. It is difficult to qualify such a person clearly (thank god) but it is not difficult to thereby render absurd all other qualifications of students that are in favour with research companies, which take as success the velocity of someone's career or the elbow-force required of graduates to take up desirable and responsible places in society. That to me is rather to be regretted. Still too great an emphasis is placed on quantifiable criteria: number of citations etc. This gives a warped image of society. The society hereby encouraged looks like an athlete who has become an invalid because of the ridiculous size of his muscles! A body made unhealthy through sport. If that isn't absurd I don't know what is.
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