Thursday, June 19, 2003

the personal and the professional

Marshmellows and Bile points out a very interesting article about a specialist in bioethics who has had to confront his own heritage. What struck me was less the questions about new genetic choices, though those are very real, but his reaction that "He'd always feared becoming the sort of academic whose career is based solely on his personal obsessions" (p. 2). It strikes me that this is one of the ways in which women are still discredited in academia, for being motivated by personal concerns. There has been so much work critiquing the old notions of objectivity, but to the young scholar in the article disinterestedness is still a sign of valour. I don't deny that there are people who get tripped up in their professional work by personal concerns. But aren't we on average better off if we have scholars who also have emotional as well as rational knowledge of issues they study?

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