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Wednesday, May 10, 2006



It could get even worse, believe me. Once I witnessed a total public self-humiliation of a speaker who, a neuroscientist by profession, dared to venture into lecturing on the history of the sciences - ah the horror of it, you can imagine him with a huge scarlet letter wrought into his forehead. 'A' as in Anachronism. :-) (I'm talking in metaphor, how sad...) Hardly anyone noticed how off he really was.


I know where you're coming from with that observation.

I think there's something in the "culture" of British history that occasionally encourages and feeds large egos. Some British academic historians have a kind of celebrity status in the media, particularly television. There may also be something about the Oxbridge system that rewards confidence and the ability to make sweeping generalizations.

I have also known some British academic historians who were modest and self-effacing.

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