Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Going dangerously off-message

Holding a session with prospective PhD students today on how to prepare a research proposal, I was emphasising that, rather than proposing simply filling in gaps in our knowledge, they should promise a radical new perspective on the subject.

And so I found myself saying that, instead of just another brick in the wall, they should offer a view of the dark side of the moon.

My schoolfriend Tristan Burn would have been honoured. The trouble was, I found myself wondering, how many more Pink Floyd album titles could I drop into the discussion? 'The Final Cut' would have been easy enough, when we're talking about editing. 'A Momentary Lapse of Reason' not much more difficult. 'Animals' - trickier, but a single word is usually easy. 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn', well, maybe not. Sadly, of course, the moment slipped by. But I think I did successfully date myself in front of a group of students.

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