Category Archives: In the news

In defence of book publishing

A new utopian world awaits all us avid readers, I learnt today. The tyranny of publishers and bookshops will soon be a thing of the past. Thanks to the internet, and the opportunities that it offers for electronic publishing, authors no longer need traditional – or any – publishers. Gone are the days when the profit hungry publishers and booksellers exploited writers by packaging and selling their creative output, while giving far too little in return. Now, authors themselves control the industry, because they alone write the words that sell the volumes. “Content is king, and only authors provide the content.” Continue reading

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Posted in Books, In the news | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

What are you reading? Suggestions please…

By Niamh Cullen At the moment, I’m working my way through three books; two novels and a sort of history book. Last week, I started reading Portugese novelist Jose Saramago’s Seeing. I had already read two of his novels a … Continue reading

Posted in Books, History, In the news, Ireland | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Knowledge Economy or the Economising of Knowledge: The Meaning of Education

Third level education is a contentious subject in Ireland these days; it seems that just as more and more people flock to gain access to it, there is less money to pay for it. However, urgent as the struggle to balance the budget is, there are in reality much more fundamental issues at stake in Irish education. The number of students attending university has risen dramatically in the last few decades, from 11% in 1955, to more than half the population in 2003. Expressions like ‘the knowledge economy’ are worn out from use in media debates, and everyone seems to be convinced that education is the key to lifting Ireland out of recession in the long term. However, when we talk about the kind of education we wish Irish universities to focus on, opinions begin to diverge. Recent articles in the Irish Times by Tom Garvin and Salter Sterling show how this debate is at the forefront of the public consciousness; however the questions of what should be taught and what kind of research projects should be done in universities, as well as how these should be financed, managed and justified, are ones of global import. In her address to the Royal Irish Academy on Wednesday evening, Harvard university president Drew Gilpin Faust made an eloquent and impassioned contribution to this debate. Continue reading

Posted in Education, Events in Dublin, In the news, Ireland | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments