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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Hats off to...

... Professors Mark Humphries and Ian Wood, representing late antique and early medieval history on the list of threatened resignations from the AHRC college of reviewers - and indeed thereby representing this field more strongly than any other area of history.  Also to medieval (including early medieval) archaeologist (and former student of the late Philip Rahtz) professor Grenville Astill.

There are very interesting clusters of specialist areas on the list, which can be found here: notably Philosophy, perhaps unsurprisingly given philosophers have been at the forefront of this campaign, but also German Studies and the University of Sheffield (especially archaeology).  Chapeau.

Also noticeable is a general absence of historians, especially modern historians.  For shame.  One could wonder whether this might result from an absence of leadership.  On the other hand, given that yesterday's Higher reported (pp.8-9) a professor of history from that bastion of historical endeavour, Imperial College*, saying that the invocation of the Haldane principle was preventing a 'grown up discussion'** of government involvement in research, maybe this is not too surprising.

I am disappointed.

* Actually, ICL came out top in History in the last RAE, perhaps because it has only 4 historians with, presumably, little or no teaching to do.  Still, fair's fair.  They are all clearly very good at what they do (history of science and technology).

** By analogy with usual usage, particularly in discussions of immigration, the phrase 'a grown up discussion' tends to mean an abandonment of any ethical principles (childish and unrealistic, you see) in the interests of crude self interest.