NO research without teaching?

kkaye at vax.oxford.ac.uk kkaye at vax.oxford.ac.uk
Mon Nov 13 05:43:07 EST 1995


I have found Tamara's setting up teaching as in some way non-academic to be
affronting and rather odd. Maybe it's just me; but if people doing research are
unwilling to teach the they aren't part of an academic tradition, which from
the time of Socrates, in the European tradition, has always involved some
degree of instruction of the young. I am not qualified to discuss the Asian
tradition in any detail, except to suggest that the ancient Chinese political
classes were educated to be erudite Confucian scholars; over and over again the 
members of this caste lost control of the institutions they were trying to
govern, sometimes with catastrophic results for themselves and those
institutions. 

If we don't take teaching seriously and give it the respect it deserves we will
destroy our own economic and philosophical raison d'etre. WE need to inspire
yound scientists; and we need to justify our expense to the taxpayers and to
government. Our best way of proselytising is to teach. My parents both had
their basic science lessons from Enrico Fermi: he taught Freshman general
science, he said, because it was the hardest course to teach and made him
rethink basic principles.

Nothing teaches you like teaching others.

My two cents!

Katherine J. Kaye
Oxford University



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