Research seminars and ‘environment’

Many permanently contracted ‘early career’ academics get the job of organising departmental seminars at some point. It can be great, you talk to interesting colleagues from across the discipline, listen to talks about research you simply haven’t heard about before and meet people you admire and wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do so. It can also be thankless – you ask for recommendations, book those speakers and your colleagues fail to turn up to their own recommended speakers’ talk(!)

If we’re supposed to be participating in the creation of “An environment that is conducive to producing research of world-leading quality, in terms of its vitality and sustainability” – as per the REF criteria, and if we were to take that seriously, then perhaps running the seminars, organising wider events, reading groups and so on would be explicitly recognised and rewarded – in workload terms, and so on…

So, with that in mind, if you are an academic reading this – please can you answer the following simple question:

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