Measurements: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Measuring us seems endemic to academic life now (as indeed to the NHS or local Councils or any other part of our civic society). The Forum for Responsible Research Metrics is charged with coming up with ways to use metrics in our universities in ways that are constructive and relevant. There are far too many potential metrics out there – and there will be a whole set more devised when Jo Johnson’s recently announced Knowledge Exchange Framework gets worked up into something concrete. I’m involved with the earliest of the three (currently) academic frameworks, the Research Excellence Framework, through my role as Chair of the Interdisciplinary Advisory Panel for REF2021, and we will have our own part to play in checking that any criteria we use don’t rely on meaningless if precise numbers. The Teaching Excellence Framework  (I am tempted to refer to it as the ‘middle-aged’ framework, as it was the middle one to be constructed; since it’s only in its first year of evaluations that is probably misleading) has been criticised by many as designed to come up with numbers that don’t actually address the questions that need answering about our university teaching.

To take another example from this week, ‘Oxford tops research grant table for third year’ said the headline, entirely truthfully if you consider amount of money awarded. But, being a proud Cantabrigian I looked further down to see how Cambridge had performed. Lo and behold, the success rate for Cambridge was actually a couple of percentage points higher than for Oxford. Which figure of merit is more important? Oxford had put in a larger number of (potentially larger on average) grants yielding a higher income than Cambridge, but proportionately fewer of them had succeeded. I could claim that Cambridge had been the most successful university, by literally considering the success rate (Leeds had also returned a success rate of 32%, the same as Cambridge). Perhaps what is most interesting, for Cambridge at least, is that their success rate had shot up by 4%: the grant-writing had, apparently, improved significantly. Is that the metric we should be looking at: most improved?

Several universities have been told off for using misleading numbers this week by the Advertising Standards Agency. For instance the University of Leicester must stop claiming to be “a top 1% world university”, although no doubt some league table somewhere would allow them to be so described; and the University of Strathclyde has been told to change the claim “We’re ranked No. 1 in the UK” for physics, but someone, somewhere, had presumably put them at the top of a specific list. Metrics are tricky animals and academics (or university administrators) are incredibly good at finding some way of finding an appropriate number that can be used to their advantage. The University of Poppleton does this reliably on the back page of the THE each week.

The trouble is, when one moves beyond institutional metrics to individual ones, things can get really nasty. How much grant income did you produce last year? If the answer doesn’t satisfy the senior management, are there consequences? What is your h index  and is it a consideration in whether or not you get appointed in the first place or promoted subsequently? What about the journal impact factor in which you published your last paper? Does this matter? – although if your institution has signed up to DORA (as I have in a personal capacity),  it may not matter as long as the promotion committees remember. Does the management want to have these sticks to beat you with?

It is an interesting irony that the organisation that seems to have been most passionate about removing the ‘individual’ from REF2021 is the Royal Society. It might be seen by many as an elitist organisation, but actually it explicitly stated, in its submission in response to the REF2021 consultation earlier this spring

The decoupling of individuals from output should reduce pressure on those who take time out of research and on early career researchers, whose recruitment would be based more on their research potential and not their ‘REFability’. It would also begin to remove disincentives to hire, and reverse the demotivation and restore morale to technology specialists, industry collaborators and members of large teams.


Using a new volume measure and portfolio approach to assessment means there would be no need to set a maximum or minimum number of outputs per staff member, thus avoiding recoupling outputs and individuals, with all the invidious consequences highlighted by the Stern Report.

However, the collective consultation responses rejected this position. Universities wanted to be able to tie outputs to individuals as, one has to assume, a management tool. Far from seeing the Stern recommendation to move towards an institutional REF as a freeing up of academe, where outputs were valued in the round not in the way they scored individuals, they resisted such an attempt. As a member of the grouping within the Royal Society that helped to produce our response to the consultation, I am dismayed that something that will continue to put immense problems on the life of the individual has been reinforced in the face of an attempt by the Stern Review and HEFCE to reduce it. As a champion for diversity it upsets me that there will still be a need for individuals with ‘special circumstances’ – having a baby perhaps or long term sick leave – to produce a justification of why they haven’t produced even a single output within the REF period. The removal of any tie-in of outputs to individuals would have obviated this need.

Metrics in general are designed to fit the ‘norm’, to fit what people collectively believe an ideal academic looks like. One who breaks the mould – for instance by working part-time, by being more interdisciplinary than their colleagues or by preferring to produce fewer but more thorough papers – can be disadvantaged by a standard set of metrics.  Using metrics which haven’t been thought through sufficiently to look for inherent biases against such individuals will likely disadvantage them. One obvious such group are women. Research has shown variously that women are: likely to win slightly smaller grants (data based on Wellcome awards);  are less likely to cite their own papers;  they publish less and are less likely to be cited by others when they are the lead author. I don’t intend to argue why these findings might be as they are; I merely want to point out that metrics that don’t consider such matters will be damaging to the individual. This is particularly the case about citations and the slavish use of h indices. I hope the Forum for Responsible Research Metrics very much has these issues in their sights, issues which were highlighted in the original analysis of the possible use of metrics in The Metric Tide report which I wrote about when it first appeared.

The impact of all these ‘measurements’ on the individual, for their health and well-being, is a crucial part of how we as a sector thrive – or, quite possibly, do not thrive. There are many issues about ‘objectification’ and ‘measurement’ that are deleterious for an academic’s mental health at any stage of the career ladder. I will have more to say about this in a later post.



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Soul Music

We all have parts of our characters – beyond our work-face – that we feel are important to us. Be it that we like poetry, going for walks or collecting teaspoons, we feel this hobby or habit in part defines us. How much so, what the balance is between personal and professional, is likely to shift during life, not least because there may be periods when the personal gets squeezed out by other aspects of work-life balance. Children or elder-care for instance may mean any ‘me time’ vanishes from the week for far too long at a time. But, whether one is actively engaged or not, I think these characteristics remain deeply embedded and don’t lose their importance because they are not being currently exercised.

For me, the part of my character I would so identify would be (classical) music. As a teenager, this not only gave me immense satisfaction as I sang or played (viola) my way through classical music large and small, with groups better or worse, but it provided me with a community beyond the immediate circle of contemporaries with whom I sat through lessons. It was my creative outlet (whilst art and poetry meant not a great deal). It was my stimulus and my absorbing out-of-hours activity. It wasn’t that I was particularly good, but as a viola player I was much in demand and got to play with people far better than I could ever aspire to be.

Music has remained important to me, although my days of active participation ceased with the birth of my children. Life simply became too crammed full for regular attendance at any choir or orchestra and, by the time my children were off my hands, my hands – or more strictly my wrist – were not strong enough to take up the reins of practice. A bout of RSI exacerbated the problems with my wrist I had suffered as a teenager (my hand was really not large enough to cope with playing scales in octaves on a viola, as demanded by the higher Grade exams, and I repeatedly was dislocating my wrist in my attempt to do so); it meant there was no way back for me when time might have permitted me to try again. My voice likewise had crumbled from lack of exercise and, apart from once-a-year College carol-singing, I don’t feel it is wise to attempt anything in public.

But music continues to define me in a certain way and I remain attached to listening to Radio 3 whilst dealing with email or writing a blogpost. I was delighted to be asked to participate both in Desert Island Discs * and subsequently the more classically-serious Private Passions and Essential Classics (no longer available). My write-up of my experience of the last of these indicates why I feel for a scientist to do such activities has immense value in reaching out to the (unsuspecting) public: science is not usually associated with such programmes unlike, say, In Our Time let alone The Life Scientific, so it provides a means to speak directly to those who might not choose to listen to a scientist otherwise.

However, in my private life I do continue to find music a solace when low and a good background to my work at home. So I was interested to read recently that listening to music is not necessarily conducive to better concentration and perhaps should, at certain times and for certain types of task, be avoided. Reading this article made me realise I am careful in what (almost invariably classical) music I choose for my background listening: not opera or Lieder and, if Radio 3 switches to a discussion or an interval talk I immediately turn it off. In other words lyrics and the spoken word definitely do not work for me, because I find myself listening to the sentences line by line, not just swimming in the warm bath of sound that a rousing symphony or melodious string quartet might provide. (It is equally true I would not choose to listen to 12 tone music or something in a modern idiom that jars on my ears.)

Perhaps this means I am committing the cardinal sin – as my slightly-professionally-trained mother would have had it – of treating music as wallpaper. Not listening at all, but simply wanting background distraction. I don’t agree. If I am concentrating hard – perhaps on some fiendish spreadsheet – it is true I simply won’t ‘hear’ the music and can be surprised when the applause bursts in at the end of a symphony when the last thing I’d noticed was the applause for the conductor at the start. But in general I believe I can switch in and out and, while pausing to concoct a particularly nuanced sentence in an email or finding some choice phrase of irritation when addressing a fellow committee member, the musical sonority soothes the savage beast of my composition and enables a fluency in my writing sitting in tense silence cannot always achieve.

Everyone has to find their own medium. My choice in music will be no one else’s. What brings tears to my eyes when feeling low is perhaps more universal (the familiar duet from Bizet’s Pearl Fishers I suspect is a common tear-jerker; Whitman’s Dirge for Two Veterans set by Vaughan Williams in his Dona Nobis Pacem probably less so) but I undoubtedly make different choices for different tasks and according to my state of mind. Certain selections are down to music I performed in my youth and which have their own accompanying memories (such as the irregular rhythms of Holst’s Perfect Fool); others I came to much more recently including Granados’ piano music and the whole idiom of Tango, which probably was sparked as much by the early days of Strictly Come Dancing as anything else.

Music has been part of my past and I hope my future. In my earliest years I would listen to my grandmother playing Chopin Mazurkas on a piano given, I believe, to her as a wedding present by my grandfather one hundred years ago this year. My mother learned on this piano, as did I (in as far as I learned piano at all). It came to Cambridge when I bought a house here and my daughter learned on it too. It gives me immense pleasure to think that it has now moved to my daughter’s house where I hope in time my granddaughter will also learn on it: five generations of women making the most of this wonderful instrument.

But now that active music-making is long since past, the passive pleasure I derive remains. The college’s music life enables me to get to regular concerts of an impressive standar; the radio, CD and iPlayer provide me with whatever I want essentially whenever I want it. For writing blogposts, emails or committee papers, music helps me get on.

*The website still unfortunately claims my luxury is a bat – a sadly misleading typo for my actual choice of a bath.

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Getting to Grips with Writing

How did you feel when your supervisor first asked you to draft a piece of writing, whether it was a journal article or perhaps your thesis itself? Excited or terrified? Was it any different the next time and the next? Do you still feel anxious or is it all a piece of cake now? Writing is so integral to the scientific process, yet is also often treated as incidental. Communication skills courses are as likely to offer advice about giving presentations and how to prepare your CV as how to write an actual paper, yet ultimately your future job prospects are as likely to hinge on the (acceptance of a) journal article as any of the other components in your application.

I don’t remember ever formally receiving advice about how to write a paper at the outset of my career, and such soft skills certainly weren’t part of my PhD training. I would like to think I have at least explicitly provided good advice and criticism to the students who have passed through my group. They may not always have appreciated my wielding of a red pen, but I have been pleased by those who, in the standard thesis acknowledgements section, have indicated they appreciated my comments, such as an emphasis on precision in communication.

But how should one learn and what is it exactly one is learning when getting loose with (metaphorical these days) pen and paper? I clearly learned by what one might term the ‘immersion’ method, i.e. just by reading other papers and getting on with it. Scientific writing, and scientific writers, have not been much studied if a recent book is to be believed. The Forgotten Tribe: Scientists as Writers by New Zealander Lisa Emerson relies on a series of interviews with scientists at different career stages and who regard writing in rather different lights. She contrasts those she terms ‘adaptive writers’, who by and large enjoyed the task, with those she refers to as ‘reluctant’, who appeared sometimes to be doing it through gritted teeth. Ultimately she decides that at least some of the difference between these two types lies in how they reacted to writing in their school years and what sort of encouragement they received. However, that has to be too simple an analysis: one of her interviewees spells out how, having started off as a confident writer, the attitude of her supervisor knocked all that confidence out of her. Stuff happens, and we all know that interacting with the wrong kind of person can shred confidence in many different spheres.

I do wonder how much the advent of the word processor/laptop has changed how we approach writing. I taught myself to touch type – on a typewriter – around the time of completing my PhD, but my thesis was handwritten and typed up by the wife of one of the group technicians (this was clearly a little money spinner for her on the side as all the students used her services). Corrections involved Tippex in general (as did corrections to the thesis itself). During my postdoc positions, cut and paste meant literally that: one took a typed up version of the paper and, if sections – or merely sentences – were to be moved around, the secretary got out the scissors and sellotape. Perhaps this meant one thought harder about the writing in the first place, but I suspect I actually gave my professor hand-written manuscripts to read before they got passed on to be typed, although I have forgotten that detail.

What I do know is that, at the end of my second – and extremely productive – postdoc, I was required to write six papers in six weeks. That was a real endurance test. My husband had by that point left the USA, so I could write all day and all night if I wanted before I too flew home, but it was still a very tall order. With six papers on similar territory, it was impossible to make the experimental methods section other than pretty repetitive (and probably self-plagiaristic into the bargain). I ended up mentally thinking to myself how ‘allergic’ I had become to my own writing, simply bored by stylistic tics that I had no time to consider how to eradicate. Luckily, as I then changed the sorts of systems I was working on, I had to reconsider what I was writing and how to describe the experiments so I could at least start afresh in some senses during the next fellowship.

But I have had other bad experiences with writing, which perhaps takes me back closer to the themes of Emerson’s book. I had one (senior) co-author who used to go through every paper, line by line, with those who were named authors from the group. This was an immensely tedious, frustrating and ultimately pointless way of doing things. I think in part it was because he didn’t find/make time to read the paper at any other time, so this was his way of editing simultaneously with reading the draft. I do not think I learned anything from the process. Much later, indeed when a professor, I co-authored a paper with another professor (there were  several other co-authors too) who clearly felt there was a pecking order in authorship. Not in the order of names on the paper – although that too no doubt, although I have mercifully forgotten – but in who got to put the last touches of red ink on the paper. Again, an immensely frustrating process: he would take a perfectly adequate sentence and shift the word order around to satisfy his own sense of self-importance, or that’s what it felt like.

Clarity matters, logical thought and clear arguments to lead the reader through from start to finish, all these matter. But some stylistic issues are simply a question of personal taste and, for a scientific paper, there is a limit to how many changes of this sort are warranted if, by requiring such changes, the paper is held up for months because said red-pen-fanatic professor won’t allow the paper to be submitted until it has been through his personal control. Interestingly, at some level he must have known this was a bad habit as he remarked to me how an eminent scientific knight had refused to co-author any further papers with him after his own writing had been given a rough going over.

I found Emerson’s book – available freely online– an interesting and thought-provoking read. She conducted 106 interviews, of which she presented 19 in detail simply as the straight narrative they had given her during the interviews. What intrigued me was the many different ways the interviewees had thought about their writing, ranging from ‘this is just what I do’ through expressions of frustration and feeling blocked to not having thought much about it at all. Some writers clearly felt that writing was a painful necessity, but not something they ever felt comfortable with. Others saw it as a natural expression of their thoughts, a way of communicating using different styles as appropriate for different audiences. So, if you want to be stimulated to consider how you tackle your writing, whether or not you have been formally taught or usefully informed by a senior author, it is well worth a read. Reading about different people with their different strategies is always going to be illuminating.

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Higher Education Through the Looking Glass

I feel as if the Higher Education sector has somehow stepped through Alice’s mirror. Everything is topsy-turvy and has been for some time.  It is hard to know where the next attack will come from. Labour peer Lord Adonis started the university football, with accusations about Vice Chancellors’ high pay and a suggestion that academics didn’t work over the summer (I have already attempted to debunk that latter myth). But more recently everyone seems to want to attack the sector, and particularly Oxbridge, in ways that are not always evidence-based, to put it charitably, with attacks coming from left and right.

David Lammy attacks us for not admitting enough black students. As I argued when he made the same criticism seven years ago, the very means by which he seeks to attack us is only going to act as a further deterrent, overwhelming all the hard work every single Oxbridge College will be putting into its outreach work in schools by giving the message that any BAME candidate who does apply won’t fit in, so why should they apply? My point of view was reinforced by Oxford’s African and Caribbean Society this week in the Telegraph.  WonkHE’s very own analysis shows that the (publically available, no FoI required) statistics do not bear out the claim of bias against such applicants, and demonstrates many universities do proportionately worse .

To make matters even more unpleasant this week in Cambridge, CUSU’s Woman’s Officer  Lola Olufemi became the target of vicious trolling after the Telegraph (again) spun her actions totally inaccurately as ‘forcing a climbdown’ of the dons after her involvement with a letter, signed by many, requesting the English Faculty’s curriculum was broadened to include more non-white authors. The misogynoir abuse she suffered – as a very visible black woman in Cambridge – is hardly likely to help Lammy’s ‘cause’ either, although I didn’t see him speaking out about it. It would have been appropriate. Plenty of people did, including Cambridge’s new Vice Chancellor. The Telegraph published a rather small apology, having run the original story splashed across its front page.

Jo Johnson

Jo Johnson, meanwhile, is saying that universities have to do more about free speech and will be asking the new Office for Students (OfS) to ensure this happens. As the Government website says

‘the Universities Minister has asked the OfS to focus on ensuring institutions recognise the importance of freedom of speech and the role it plays in ensuring open debate.’

But his Conservative whip colleague seems intent on making this harder, by writing to all Vice Chancellors asking them to tell him who is lecturing about Brexit and with what syllabus. Leaving aside the amusing spoof syllabi that floated around the internet by means of reply, Jo Johnson himself indicated that Chris Heaton-Harris’s letter ‘should probably not have been sent’. Quite. But on the whole I think collectively we work hard to permit open dialogue and free speech and it is surprising to be warned we may not be doing enough.

As it happened, the story about Heaton-Harris’ inappropriate request broke the morning after I had given a talk on Brexit as part of the University’s Festival of Ideas. Entitled ‘UK research in troubled political times’ and honouring one of my predecessors as Master of Churchill College Sir Hermann Bondi (a committed European), it focussed on the consequences of Brexit for the research workforce and funding implications as Brexit gets ever closer. A brief write-up can be found on the University website. It felt distinctly sinister to see the Guardian running the story the next morning, with its explicitly McCarthyist headline.

However, I needn’t have worried. In this topsy-turvy world we now live in, the emphasis the THE reporter, present in the audience, gave when reporting my talk was entirely focussed on the couple of slides I included about changes to the UK’s research council structure as UKRI comes into being. Furthermore, although she no doubt correctly quoted me in what she did report, she didn’t even mention the issue I feel particularly anxious about in the UKRI context, namely what is going to happen to interdisciplinary science. Originally given as one of the motivations for creating a super Research Council in the Nurse Review report, as yet there is no clarity as to how such work will be funded (or assessed). Neither the Global Challenges Research Fund nor the Industrial Challenges Research Fund, both of which we have some information about now, cover the fundamental kind of interdisciplinary science which forms the focus of HEFCE’s Interdisciplinary Advisory Panel for REF2021, which I chair and which formed the focus of my uncertainty regarding the new UKRI landscape in my talk.

So the Daily Mail won’t have picked up from the THE story that I am a dangerous Leftie who talks about Brexit (although they might have spotted the latter if they read the University’s own website; I am not, though, or ever have been a paid up member of any political party). Consequently, to the hilarity of my fellow heads of house – several of whom have remarked upon this – I did not appear on their hit list . Nor have I been identified as ruining a graduation dinner by mentioning the dreaded B word (although I undoubtedly did, both last year and this) as Downing’s Master was. But the Daily Mail isn’t, let us admit, always entirely accurate or consistent, a point noted by one of the said wicked Leftie Masters who, two years ago, was fingered by the Daily Mail for being too right wing. Jackie Ashley’s riposte to some of this furore struck a chord with many of us .

Higher Education may well have a larger proportion of Remainers than some parts of the country, such as the Fens, the Welsh valleys or other former industrial heartlands, but is that sufficient to explain why politicians and journalists from left and right have decided we are the target of choice for their hate? A sector which has usually been regarded with pride for competing successfully with the US giants of Harvard, MIT and Yale; a sector which brings billions of income to the economy through direct and indirect means; a sector which educates (I refuse to say ‘trains’) the next generation – black, white, male, female as well as those who reject such binary divisions. We appear to be being targeted because we think for ourselves and believe in looking at the evidence. We even are prepared to change our minds if the evidence warrants it. Perhaps that is why we are feared – and so attacked – in the days of the bigot and closed-mind-politics and journalism.



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It’s Time to Break the Silence

One of the pleasurable duties of being Master of a Cambridge College is getting a chance to talk to a wide cross section of people across the dinner table. This week it was the College’s Scholars’ Feast, a feast which means what it says: it is our annual thank you to our amazing group of scholars, whose numbers swell each year. They are a stimulating bunch to talk to.

I was struck by being asked the same question by two different young women during the course of the evening, one from the arts and one from the sciences: how different were things for me when I was an undergraduate and did I think things were better now? It is a difficult question to answer for two reasons. I was a student a very long time ago and my memory is inevitably going to be distorted by my experiences since; furthermore I am not a student now, so I can only judge what it is like for a current undergraduate by what might be regarded as external appearances.

Nevertheless I attempted an answer, prefacing it with remarks made to me by a woman a generation older than me when I became pregnant. How difficult it was for my generation, she said, to have to make decisions about how to balance personal and professional matters. For her generation there were no questions. You got married and had a family and (almost inevitably) that put a stop to professional advancement. She, an English scholar married to another academic, had only been able to get back into academia years later, indeed as a Fellow of a new college looking to create a fellowship from scratch (Robinson College, where I was a Fellow for many years). At the time I thought what strange remarks: of course my life was easier, since I could have a family yet keep working. But over time I understand better why she thought the act of having a choice can actually complicate matters. For her, a lack of choice gave her clarity of vision. For my generation onwards, there has been the tricky question of whether and when to start a family as a female academic. However supportive one’s partner is, there are fundamental challenges in attempting this balancing act ­– including the sheer exhaustion a pregnancy can induce which a partner really cannot share!

I think these earlier remarks are relevant because I feel the naivety I clearly had when setting out as a young academic stood me in good stead. I didn’t know what all the complications were going to be because there was no one talking about them. I had clarity of vision because I knew no better. For female early career researchers the challenges are now made so explicit. Additionally, in my early days as a student and researcher I was not surprised to be the only woman in the room and, as a result, to feel isolated, different and often treated as such. It couldn’t be otherwise with such tiny numbers of women in physics.  Now such isolation could be regarded as an inappropriate affront.

In Cambridge, my generation of undergraduates was the last for which there was only a choice of three colleges to attend.  Churchill – along with King’s and Clare – admitted women for the first time the next year and numbers of women in every discipline were inevitably tiny. It was later, when numbers were still hardly any larger in physics despite the much greater choice of college for women, that things felt more depressing and came out into the open in an explicit way. In my day we also clearly did not expect to be treated like the men. We had constraints in the way we could interact, but also different opportunities (for instance I could take my pick of which college choir to join according to what music was on offer each term). No one expected us to keep up with the men in our alcohol consumption; in some cases not even to buy our own drinks, although ‘going Dutch’ was becoming the norm. I suspect we were treated in some ways with more respect, even if it was a rather patronising kind of respect (if that’s not a contradiction in terms).

I was pretty naïve about sexual harassment then, but I suspect there was far less student-on-student assault. I certainly never remember hearing of a single incident, although the young gentleman may have been treating their fellow undergraduates with respect and saving their bad habits for the local women. I do not know. But I would certainly not have been surprised to hear of supervisor-on-student predation (although I can’t recall any incidents). I fear that the idea of an older don enjoying some inappropriate flirting – if not worse – with a young female in his care would have seemed entirely to be expected. Certainly I do remember some male members of staff making me feel very uncomfortable as a PhD student, even if it would be hard to put my finger on quite why I felt creeped out.

Times have changed. Mores have changed. Nevertheless it has to be acknowledged that the Cambridge Campaign Breaking the Silence, launched this week is an important step forward within the University. The published statement is completely uncompromising, starting off with

‘There is no place for any form of harassment or sexual misconduct at the University of Cambridge.’

A wide range of materials, advice and detailed procedures are laid out on the new web page. As Barbara Stocking (President of Murray Edwards) spells out

‘In any organisation the starting point must be to have a good complaints system — one where people are listened to, that is fair (to both sides), where investigations take place. Most importantly, though, if day to day working practices are out in the open for all to see, that must reduce unwanted behaviours.’

My own college already has very clear statements and policies around these issues which will act in parallel with the University’s.

Time will tell whether this campaign and call to action wins the support and confidence of our community. By bringing the issues, and all the accompanying grief that many people have suffered out into the open (as exemplified elsewhere in an extreme form by the now discredited and vilified Harvey Weinstein) it is to be hoped not only that victims will feel sufficiently supported to speak up, but that anyone who is aware of harassment will either intervene at the time, offer support to the victim and/or speak up through appropriate channels. Harassment has to stop. Alcohol is no excuse. Victim-blaming is inappropriate.


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