In Defense of Academic ‘Fiddling’

Published in the Ottawa Citizen, June 5, 2013

Are political scientists failing to play their part as critics of the government in Canada? Lawrence Martin thinks so. Writing in the Globe and Mail last week, he lamented that academics are busy working on narrow research projects, instead of using their privileged positions to find fault with those in power. Pointing to the activism of scholars past, Martin wondered why a new generation of public intellectuals has not followed suit, taking to the op-ed pages and talk shows to name and shame politicians who abuse their authority.

Coincidentally, Martin’s missive appeared at the same time as the annual conference of the Canadian Political Science Association. The column was met with bewilderment by many at the conference. A quick glance at the program explains why. Included among the presenters were professors and graduate students who routinely analyze current events in print, online, and on the air.

There is no shortage of critical commentary about Canadian political affairs from academics, young or old….

Read the rest of this article on the Ottawa Citizen website.

 

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