The last issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education (November 9) has a story on academics who feel like fakes, frauds, impostors etc., “a cognitive distortion that prevents a person from internalizing any sense of accomplishment” and which seems to be more common than we may think: “Self-doubt and negative feedback weigh heavily on the mind, but praise barely registers”. I guess many of us know the feeling!

The debate following the article is somewhat disconcerting. Some commentators are empathetic, but many seem to believe that feelings of self-doubt in Academia are somehow well-deserved — especially in the humanities, because there are supposedly lots of dubious things going on there: “turtleshit all the way down”, as one says.

Sounds like the wounds from the Science Wars haven’t been healed yet.

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