1. David Livesay says

    Whenever someone becomes a full professor, I like to point out that it begs the question, “full of what?”

    I have also observed that such individuals are, in fact, not quite full yet and have taken several of them to nearby pubs to remedy that deficiency.

  2. David Livesay says

    That’s not what ‘begs the question’ means.

    That depends on whether you go by the strict, traditional, academic definition or by modern usage. It’s okay to have a preference, but if you insist that the former is the only meaning, people might describe you as elitist.

  3. thwaite says

    No, not even full professors look funny all the time (although my advisor was from a UK university whose robes were some shade of violet, and even sometimes was funny enough).
    From William Golding’s essay “Crosses” in THE HOT GATES, 1966:

    …[One] may argue that academic persons, with their hoods, gowns and caps do not suffer as much as the public in general from a lack of the bizarre. But despite everything that film, television and stage show us, it is a fact that academics seldom wear academic dress. The hood hangs in a closet from one year’s end to another, cellophaned perhaps, but untouched, until its fibers drag apart under its own weight. Or if it is boxed and laid flat, then the creases become permanent and end by separating the material as by so many cuts.

    …he goes on a while longer, about commencement rituals – all accurate anthropology of the academic subculture. The man could write.

  4. DMC says

    So when will PZ be a full professor?

    When ranting blogs count as peer reviewed publications!


  5. says

    When I hear of People getting tenure and becoming full profs, I always remember this quote from Dan Dennett:

    “The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn’t need its brain any more so it eats it. It’s rather like getting tenure.”

    No comment :-)


  6. David Livesay says

    Academics elitist? Never! They really are better then everyone else.

    As someone who has drifted in and out of academe, I have to say that I haven’t felt that I was substantially better while I’ve been an academic. Certainly not better paid anyway. :-)

  7. says

    I once asked a visiting lecturer what it was that professors were allowed to profess. The suggestion was “opinions”, but I think that’s self-defeating. :)