The new reality of the public intellectual

I think we need to engage the public better as academics. Maybe the reason the Quebéc government doesn’t fund education is partly due to this disengagement. Maybe the inability to sustain research funding from the federal government is too. However, it is not as easy as it once was. I used to think that people have become consumed with consumerism and such and don’t feel they have the time to build a great society. That they disengaged from us. However, like many of my notions, this one is wrong- or at least highly oversimplified. Now I think it is more difficult for many public intellectuals to engage simply because they are wondering how to support their families and see that as more important than engaging the public. Tenure protects me in that sense but how long will tenure last? Here is an interesting piece I read this morning. It came to me through my Twitter feed. I learn more because of Twitter than I ever would have thought possible!

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I m a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at McGill University.

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