Azara Blog: Alison Richard sends out bizarre letter to Cambridge University alumni

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Date published: 2007/06/25

Alison Richard, the Vice Chancellor (i.e. the real head) of Cambridge University, has written a bizarre letter to "alumni and alumnae". She says "I write to you about the diverging scales at which, increasingly, we work: can Cambridge be big and small at the same time?" Huh? The rest of the (long) letter just rambles on about this and that without really ever getting to what she is trying to accomplish with her letter. Presumably what she really wants is money. But she cannot get herself to just give the obvious plugs ("if we have X million pounds we can do Y", or "we are aiming to raise W over the next N years and so far have raised Z"). Instead she just rambles: "The distinction between 'useful' and 'not-useful' subjects and research is bogus, and Cambridge's track record tells us that fundamental research is often at the root of transformational changes in the world." Well any A-Level student could have told you that.

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