chapter  10
20 Pages

T. S. Ashton THE RELATION OF ECONOMIC HISTORY TO ECONOMIC THEORY (L.S.E., 1946)

THE obligation to deliver an inaugural lecture must rank high among the impediments to vertical mobility in academic life. After some weeks of meditation on the matter I am constrained to suggest to the august personages who determine these things that the cause of learning and academic mobility might be advanced by the abolition of the requirement. If some ceremony were thought to be essential the newly elected professor might simply be sworn in and enrolled on the acceptance by him of the sum of one shilling in legal tender money. Or, if it were considered that this would impose an unwarranted strain on the University chest, the initiation might follow the tradition, long established in other fields of human endeavour, by which the apprentice, elevated to the rank of master-craftsman, 'stands his footing' in a form which, unlike a lecture, can hardly with accuracy be described as dry.