Edwin Phillips continues to listen as controversial Swansea University Pro Vice-Chancellor Hilary Lappin-Scott (HL-S), tells a hapless colleague of her latest travels.
HL-S: (Breathlessly) No doubt you’ll want to hear that next it was Brighton for the British Science Festival.
I am non-stop!
Colleague: (Sighing) let me guess.
You were droning on about gender and equality in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
No doubt there were more references to that vacuous YouTube video of yours about gender and equality in STEM.
HL-S: (Not picking up on the insult) ha!
Not so fast.
I am now branching out and becoming, um, multi-disciplinary.
The title of my talk was “Women in Science: changing culture, improving diversity”.
I am now not just about gender and equality.
I am now talking about culture and diversity!
Colleague raises eyes to the sky.
HL-S: I can’t tell you how exciting this is because I am now dealing in new words – ‘culture and diversity‘.
(Looking knowledgeable) these words are different from the usual ones I talk about, and all my fans will be surprised.
I am incredibly well qualified to talk about culture and diversity because I come from the North of England as I keep telling people during my presentations.
(A look of concern passes across her face) people’s eyes always seem to be closing at this point – I can’t think why.
Colleague: So it’s the same old recycled PowerPoint slides then?
HL-S: Yes, but no, but yes.
Colleague: That’s settled then – say no more.
HL-S: Er, Jeremy Corbyn’s reception at Glastonbury was as nothing compared to the welcome I got from my followers.
I heard that they had to cordon off most of Brighton beach to keep the crowds in check.
My talk at Brighton was also important because I wanted to try to convince people of the breadth and depth of my interdisciplinary knowledge, in order to further justify my appointment on the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Interdisciplinary research Advisory Panel (IDAP).
Colleague: Even ignoring glaring issues of corporate governance, I suspect that your fellow IDAP members will immediately see through your contributions as soon as you open your mouth.
HL-S: Thank you … your support is much appreciated.
Colleague: (Slaps forehead) I’m going to regret asking this, but what else have you done?
HL-S: I, me, moi have written a couple of new blogs all by myself and unaided.
These quality insightful blogs more than justify my position as a Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor.
Colleague: I am intrigued to know why you felt the need to tweet and re-tweet details of your latest blog at least seven times.
(Becoming angry) is there no limit to your boredom threshold on self-promotion?
HL-S: (Not picking up on the anger) absolutely not!
Colleague slaps forehead once more.