The commentator Nick Cohen argues in an article this week that many academics – specifically in social sciences and humanities – are unable to write clearly enough for their ideas to be understood. In ‘Academia plays into the hands of the right’, he contends that academics are ignored by the ‘ordinary world’ because of the ‘obscure theoretical’ terms they use. The piece concludes: “People write well when they have something say. The willingness of too many academics to write badly has told their fellow citizens that they are not worth listening to or fighting for.”
What are your thoughts on this? Is Nick Cohen justified in attacking academics for using theoretical language? How should social scientists respond? Go to the Forum to add your thoughts to the debate.