LETTER:Commercialism vs academia at university

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The Independent Online
From Dr D. S. Levene

Sir: According to Sir Douglas Hague, "there are few subjects, arguably none, in which a researcher who really cares for what he is studying cannot in a couple of pages, or a 10-minute presentation, convince a total outsider of the 'worthwhileness' of his proposal".

Indeed, someone who is accomplished in rhetorical presentation will be able to convince all sorts of people (especially if they know little about the subject) of all sorts of things. But there is no reason to think that the possession of skills in rhetoric is closely correlated to the actual "worthwhileness" of one's proposal.

Yours faithfully,

D. S. Levene


Tyne & Wear

30 August