Weekly Roundup 74

There has recently been a bit of a heated debate started due to University of Oxford decree that academics would suffer compulsory retirement at the age of 67. The goal of this policy is simple: rejuvenation. The idea is that all these old decrepit professors are just hanging on to their jobs while these starry eyed, high spirited young scholars are being left out, how dare they. Of course there is probably some genuine concern, it is often described as the “leaky pipeline” how, for instance in chemistry degrees, its about a 50:50 split based on gender which is roughly maintained into the PhD students and yet when it comes to professors suddenly this equality seems to fall away. There is also the fact that, unlike with straining manual jobs, age isn’t really hampering issue for scientists. This means there judders and leaps when it comes to employment and many graduating PhD students simply can’t find one of those limited number professorships. Of course this also the counter argument; if professors can perform their duties as good as ever, regardless of age, how can that be a reason for, in essence, sacking them. There is also the argument that, without these experienced professors, the current number of research groups and PhD programs could not be run. Some people say these rulings will hamper young academics in the long run instead of helping them. It currently seems unlikely that this age limit will be removed or changed by any great degree as motion to do so have been outvoted by Oxford’s Congregation each time it has been brought up in the past.

Until tomorrow, goodnight.


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