Such a hullabaloo in academia! Reality has dared to pass through the hallowed portals of lives dedicated to acquiring esoteric knowledge and planned cuts in the staffing budget have sparked an international outcry.
335 international scholars, amongst them the distinguished Hermann Üre, a German expert on the study of Onthophagus Sagittarius, are up in arms at the thought of having to justify their secure tenures at some of our leading universities.
Professor Üre is a classic example of an academic who has spent a life time studying an obscure subject that at first sight appears to have little relevance to today.
Hermann was educated at the prestigious Stanford University, and having graduated with a degree in Spanish, switched to the discipline of Entomology. He then completed a Masters thesis on the ‘El mundo oculto de la Mayate’.
His Thesis was the first to prove that Onthophagus Sagittarius had adapted to its inherent handicap – sine alarum – by feeding on the outpourings of the larger mammals in its environment.
Sine alarum, Onthophagus Sagittarius can only travel pedantically in the wake of those better adapted to the environment than itself, either consuming succour at source, or creating a store of material to be regurgitated for later consumption.
Hermann Üre ignored the cynicism of his colleagues, who claimed the object of his research was often boring and frequently demented, and spent the remainder of his life contemplating the damage to the environment posed by Onthophagus Sagittarius.
He later concluded in his widely read ‘Ludi sine gaudio ludi non sunt’ (published in the International Congress of Entomology Celebrating Entomology: Contributions to Modern Science, 2008) that the ecosystem of the creature’s natural habitat has experienced an evolution of pastoral practices which has progressively led to a change of landscape structure, and the last known examples of the species were located in a baited pitfall trap in an isolated sector of their natural habitat. Sadly there was no female amongst them, and thus they are doomed to extinction.
In a letter to Keith Hoggart, vice-principle (Entomology) at King’s University in London, Steven Pinker, professor of psychology at Harvard sought to underline the importance of Professor Üre’s work in the fæcal field.
“To give the boot to a scholar like Hermann Üre is an act of madness,” he writes, “that it should happen today is beyond belief”.