Not sure if anyone has read this controversial article in THES last week about the seven deadly academic sins.
The one about lust caused a particular storm in a teacup and was picked up by major mainstream news services.
Clearly, there is a witch hunt happening, but there is something worrying about the way academic freedom is being suppressed so someone can't even express an opinion without being in fear of offending.
In some ways I am less concerned about the idea of either lecturers perving over students (which although unpleasant is not exactly paedophilia or murder) or humourless puritans banning satire (people can adopt whatever attitude they want). Its more about the climate of censorship and the right of the offended to immediately demand other people conform to their way of thinking.
If this is the way things are going in the future, is there any point of being an academic any more?
I am inclined to agree as well, in fact I was talking to a friend about something similar the other day - people in general seem to be so easily offended, more so than before and that is what appears to lead to this sort of reaction. I don't know why people are like that but I don't think it is a good thing. The author of this article may have said some foolish things, but in my opinion, it was entirely tongue in cheek and not intended to give a serious portrayal of academic life. It was published in the Times Higher Education, therefore was written with an academic audience in mind, and so maybe he didn't think he would have to explain his angle on the subject. However people have still unfortunately been offended about it.
Additionally, he is talking about something that probably happens all the time, and that people talk about - older lecturers fancying their younger students is nothing new. Ultimately we (lecturers, students etc) are all adults and even if a relationship were to happen it wouldn't constitute a breach of trust as in a teacher/pupil relationship, it would just be a bit strange (in my opinion its a line you don't cross). What I'm trying to say is that he isn't really talking about anything seriously wrong, so people shouldn't really be offended.
I'm very tired writing this so it probably doesn't make much sense, but wanted to say something!
======= Date Modified 24 Sep 2009 22:54:05 =======
Great! now we have two threads about exactly the same thing. I responded on my earlier thread: the procrastination/controversy one, signalled earlier on this thread by Sylvester.
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