Solo science: tinkering outside the tower

“A modern British university is no place to think. That’s the sad conclusion I came to after ten years struggling in my secure academic job. What had at first seemed a magnificent opportunity and a great privilege had become a burden. And I couldn’t stand it any more. Instead of reading and writing and thinking and arguing and carrying out experiments to try to understand the nature of the human mind or the mysteries of the universe, I was filling in forms, attending meetings and marking ever higher piles of increasingly pedestrian essays. Just sometimes I had the joy of knowing I’d inspired my students, or helped them design exciting experiments. Just sometimes I even did some research myself. But mostly I seemed to be wasting my brain away. So I left. The job I abandoned was that of reader in psychology at a large new university, where I taught everything from huge classes in introductory psychology and statistics to seminars on consciousness …” (more)

[Susan Blackmore, Intelligent Life, 24 October]

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