Edward Tenner


Edward Tenner is an independent writer and speaker, a distinguished scholar of the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center and a visiting researcher at Rutgers and Princeton. He is the author of Our Own Devices (2003) and Why Things Bite Back (1997). His latest book is The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can’t Do (2018).

Written by Edward Tenner

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Without tenure, professors become terrified sheep

Edward Tenner

It does both. It has prevented the routine dismissals of professors – a common fate of US academic critics of entry into WW One. But it has equally institutionalized groupthink (who wants a troublemaker colleague for 30 years?) and has helped create a caste society of nobles and serfs I am not now nor have I ever been a tenure candidate. But for all its drawbacks, the tenure system (unless vitiated by “review” exceptions) is the last bulwark against managerialism.

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