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One danger for academics is academic elitism, which is (roughly) the view that only someone who has engaged in SeriousScholarship has anything worthwhile to say on any given topic, while all others are CrankS. It is possible to value SeriousScholarship without being an academic elitist, of course.

In fields that have no non-academic counterpart, AcademicElitism is common because it actually is the case that there aren't very many people with anything worthwhile to say on the topic, other than the academics. But in more practical fields (math, computer science, business), it is more common to find that innovations appear much more readily from outside the hallowed walls of academia, and therefore harder to delude oneself into thinking non-academics are all or mostly CrankS.

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Last edited February 7, 2001 6:41 am by JimboWales (diff)