Right now we need sociologists more than we need scientists. We need philosophers more than we need forex traders. We need activists far more than we need accountants. [emphasis added] There has probably never been a more important time in human history than now to stop and have a good think about where we are going, as we begin to reach the environmental limits of our planet. How predictable, then, that our government should this year launch a renewed attack on universities, and in particular on those disciplines that might help us to do so.Now, I don't agree with his analysis. If we needed sociologists more than scientists, their wages would be bid up and more folks would then choose sociology over the sciences, and similarly for philosophy versus foreign exchange traders, unless there were strong and differential external benefits across training fields. I'm strictly agnostic about the relative merits of the different professions. But the burden of proof ought to be on the folks positing strong positive externalities for any particular profession over another.
More interesting is his contrasting of accountants with activists, given my morning email inbox. Nandor could perhaps update his views about the extent to which the sets might overlap.
You are warmly invited to attend the 5th Annual Pallot Memorial Lecture, ‘The Significance of Public Sector Accounting as a Form of Constrained Communication’. The lecture will be delivered by Professor Christine Cooper, from the University of Strathclyde. Event details and an outline of the seminar are provided below.Cooper's faculty page is here.
Date: Monday 9th August 2010, 5.30pm – 6.30pm. Refreshments to follow
Venue: Coppertop - Level 2, Commerce Building, University of Canterbury
RSVP: By 4th August to email@example.com or phone +64 3 364 3882 or reply to this email
Drinks, canapés and an opportunity to network with other UC staff and members of the business community will follow this lecture. We look forward to seeing you on 9th August.
It is now well understood that the public sector should produce information which renders it transparent and accountable. Accountability, at first sight, seems to be a desirable characteristic. This lecture discusses the possibility that accountability is extremely complex and that the production of the finest set of public sector accounts cannot make the public sector accountable.
Christine Cooper is a Professor of Accounting at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow Scotland. Her research interests are concerned with how accounting information or accounting’s theoretical frameworks impact upon our decision making or actions. This has included the audit expectations gap, social and environmental accounting, accounting within trade unions, privatization, taxation, key performance indicators in the public sector, insolvency and taxation. For each of these arenas, Christine has drawn upon various contemporary social theories to inform her work. Christine is co-editor of Critical Perspective on Accounting. Critical Perspectives on Accounting aims to provide a forum for the growing number of accounting researchers and practitioners who realize that conventional theory and practice is ill-suited to the challenges of the modern environment, and that accounting practices and corporate behaviour are inextricably connected with many allocative, distributive, social, and ecological problems of our era. Christine also sits on the editorial boards of several other journals and is a trustee of the Association for Accountancy and Business Affairs which works for an open and democratic society.
Environmental, social, and triple-bottom-line accounting methods are an area of growing research focus in the Accounting department here at Canterbury.
The Pallot Lecture is Accounting's counterpart to our Condliffe Lecture. Locals attending those two lecture series, along with Management's Hight Lecture, would fully appreciate the great diversity within our College of Business and Economics.