Friday, April 18, 2008

Damn Academics

I saw what is the latest in a huge series of really bad talks on what could have been interesting subjects today. The person essentially just read an academic paper rather than preparing a real talk. What was different however, was this was an Anthropology PhD. I always assumed this was entirely a science and engineering thing.

Anyways, there needs to be some serious work on what they teach PhD students. A great many people seem to be getting a doctorate without being able to give a talk on the level of an average high school Academic Decathlon talk. Since teaching is the ultimate profession for a great many of these people this seems silly. It wouldn't be hard to force them to give, video tape, and watch themselves giving a few dozen talks over the 5-10 years that is a PhD program. I would even sit through such classes if it would mean I don't have to listen to another really really bad talk by an otherwise intelligent academic.

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