Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology
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SECRETARY’S MESSAGE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 497  

Of academics and academicians


Secretary, Indian Society of Periodontology, Chief Consultant, Dr Grover's Dental Clinic, J-9/48(Second Floor), Rajouri Garden, New Delhi - 110 027, India, Indi

Date of Web Publication14-Nov-2020

Correspondence Address:
Harpreet Singh Grover
Secretary, Indian Society of Periodontology, Chief Consultant, Dr Grover's Dental Clinic, J-9/48(Second Floor), Rajouri Garden, New Delhi - 110 027
Indi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jisp.jisp_662_20

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How to cite this article:
Grover HS. Of academics and academicians. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2020;24:497

How to cite this URL:
Grover HS. Of academics and academicians. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Dec 1];24:497. Available from: https://www.jisponline.com/text.asp?2020/24/6/497/300717





In many recent calls for papers for conferences or invitations to workshops or symposia in our field of science, one would increasingly notice people using the term 'academician' synonymously to 'academic'. An example: 'the deliberations will provide an excellent opportunity for exchange of knowledge and ideas between scientists, researchers and academicians'.

So is there any difference between an 'academician' or an 'academic' or are these words interchangeable? The answer is while an academic (derived from academe) is a person who teaches or indulges in research in institutions of higher learning such as a college or university, an academician (derived from academy) is typically someone who is honored with full membership into an academy that is a body focused on the study and advancement of a specific field of learning such as the arts, sciences, medicine etc., having a strong national influence. The British honours its academicians as 'Fellow of the Royal Society' whereas in the US academicians are elected members of the National academy of Sciences. Members include many Nobel Prize winners.

In our immediate professional circles there is another highly laughable dimension to this entire concept. All those who work in assorted dental colleges have been labelled as 'academicians' whereas all others including private practitioners have been simply clubbed together as 'non academicians. Why and how such terminologies were arrived at is anybody's guess. My take is confusion, naivety or plain ignorance and to me it appears a great disservice to the audiences (in this case our undergraduates and postgraduates) if there exposure is limited only to a set of so called academicians and they are deprived of subject insights and point of views coming across from so called non academicians. In a lighter vein there is another tribe of people who were 'academicians' in their previous avatars of teaching in dental colleges but are considered 'non academicians' now having forsaken the world of academia and having doffed off their academicals presently. Which bracket do such people belong to?

The moot point is one can be a teacher or researcher at a higher educational institution lifelong without ever being an academician or can be an academician without ever being a part of classroom or research lab at a college or university. Certainly we need to think twice before glorifying anyone and everyone as an academician and using this word ad nauseam, like a huge pile of loose change. Chances are we would rarely meet an academician in true sense of the word.

ISPlendidly Yours






 

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