#351: Academics anonymous

Academics are restricted sometimes from making full use of their mental powers because the nature of their profession is that reputation counts for a lot. This can be easily misinterpreted to mean that making any unsubstantiable suggestion, or even slightly crazy proposition, is forbidden to them.

They therefore need a way to bounce early-stage ideas around with more than their trusted collegiate peer-group -but without exposing themselves to embarrassment.


Today’s invention is a bulletin board for academics on which their postings appear anonymously. This allows them to contribute ideas without jeopardising their reputations or being intimidated by the “standing” of others. It would also mean, of course, that they would miss out on the credit for any of these ideas. (This could actually be good, in screening out those people for whom the business of intellectual creativity is just an ego trip).

At any time, anyone posting to a given thread could propose a group meeting to advance their thinking face-to-face (with a view to building some kind of research programme, perhaps). There could even be a mechanism by which those who were against a meeting might find themselves simply not invited to it.

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