One thought on “Academic Assholes and the Circle of Niceness

  1. This post really resonates with me. I am a junior scholar and on the market this year. I am in the scary and overwhelming, but also very lucky, position of having multiple offers to decide between. One of those offers is from what I would consider a very strong research program. But I have never been the kind of scholar who performs well in what the blog post refers to as “academic pissing matches.” My writing is solid. I enjoy constructive, friendly conversations about my research (and the research of others), and find such conversations immensely helpful in improving my own work. But I detest what I have heard another colleague refer to as “full-contact philosophy” and am seriously considering turning down what is a great opportunity for an amazing research career because I am worried I may find myself in an institution where the asshole attitudes are more prominent. So in short: Yes, it does seem likely to be the case that the predominant asshole-ery may be turning off younger, more friendly, but otherwise bright scholars.

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