Philosophy for Our Academic Wellbeing


Listen to this interview of Rebecca Roache, coach and podcaster, and also Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London. We talk about the application of philosophy to the problems faced by every academic every day.

Rebecca Roache : "I'd say that, for many of us, we got into our particular line of research because we were interested in and energized by the topics that we were researching. But at some point along the way, we started caring too much about the measurable outputs. So, we stopped caring about just being interested and drawn in to a topic for its own sake and we started thinking about things like, 'Well, I need to publish this. I need to be able to teach this course. I need to get this degree or this grant.' So, it becomes all about the outputs. And along with that — once you start caring about the outputs, you start worrying about whether your particular outputs are good enough and so on — and all this just sort of sucks the joy out of the process. So, for any academic or researcher, there's a lot of mileage in trying to reconnect with why we're doing what we're doing in the first place. You know, fall in love with the process again. Now, I know, that's really difficult, given how much pressure we're under to produce the right sort of outputs — but, you know, if you can find space in that to reconnect with your love of the process, your love of the topic, your love of just the experience of learning and writing about that topic — I think that that can solve a lot of problems."

Rebecca's fantastic podcast is called Academic Imperfectionist.

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