Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day of Reckoning

Stress, like the common cold, is infectious, and there's a lot of both going about in the UK academic community over the past couple of weeks. In one case it's due to the weather, in the other it's due to the Research Assessment Exercise for which the results become known today. If you work in a British university, it's no good claiming you're not interested - that would be like the chap who tried to stand in the corner for 5 minutes without thinking about polar bears. The Wikipedia entry for the RAE provides a brief description. The results get released to universities today, according to a surprisingly detailed timetable, and then they get properly published tomorrow. I won't do any further discussion here - one thing we can all count on is a lengthy episode where the statistics will be endlessly sliced and diced, and viewed from this angle or that one, and subjected to assorted criticisms (the Times Higher will be the best place to read that stuff, if you care.)

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