This is one of those shocking events that we really never do see. A group of people arguing, in public, that we really should all be spending more on this group of people.
Sure, of course they dress it up in a little more reasoning than that. But that surface gloss doesn’t change the underlying demand – give us your money!
The Telegraph tries to have fun with it:
Academics have demanded career breaks so they can save the planet from climate change as they warn that “humanity is on a precipice”.
Let us go on holiday to save the planet. But they’re more shameless than that:
We ask you to support scientists, academics and students to help address the climate emergency through a series of new programmes, fellowships, sabbaticals and voluntary placements to help the critical efforts needed to save all life on our planet. These will be hosted by a large partnership between universities, companies and NGOs working on solutions.
We need to be leaders. We need to transform our universities into action-oriented institutions.
Please help us make this possible.
That’s the spend lots more money bit. But who is it doing the calling?
Mark Maslin, professor of Climatology, UCL; fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
Alice Larkin, head of the School of Engineering, Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester
Shaun Fitzgerald, director, The Royal Institution
Michelle Shipworth, associate professor in energy and social Sciences, UCL Energy Institute; director of ethics, UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources
James McKay, manager, EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Bioenergy, University of Leeds
Robert Falkner, research director, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics
And so on. So, yes, they’re calling for the more money to be spent upon them.
The universities will give in of course. Intellect isn’t a necessary precursor to an academic career these days and admin is always done by the dimmer among the group anyway. The rest of us can recognise it for what it is. “Spend your money on us” just dressed up in the latest fashion.