That's Academic

7 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2018

See all articles by Simon Chesterman

Simon Chesterman

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 24, 2018


For much of human history, teaching meant the imparting of information. Now that most of us carry a device in our pockets with access to nearly all of human knowledge, however, the notion that formal education is the only path to knowledge collapses. Similarly, to the extent that the status of a teacher or a professor was built on having privileged access to knowledge, that has also disappeared. So what is it that universities — and academics — can offer that Google and Wikipedia cannot? In the best of worlds, better questions and better answers. This short essay examines the changing role of academics in a world in which people live longer, change jobs more quickly, and must use as well as compete with technology.

Keywords: universities, academia, academics, technology, employment, education

Suggested Citation

Chesterman, Simon, That's Academic (March 24, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Simon Chesterman (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776


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