Professor Michael Lipton FBA joined Sussex in 1961 as an Economics lecturer. From 1967 - 1994 he was Reader then Professorial Fellow at IDS. Since 1994 he has been Research Professor at the Poverty Research Unit at Sussex.
When I came in 1961 there was effectively 6 to 8 teaching staff and 50 students in 2 old buildings on the London Road, there was no Falmer site at that point, and we all knew each other. I mean the idea of a meeting which excluded people was not there. This was before student participation, Sussex was very much in the lead long before 1968 on student participation issues, and one was in on the discussions, formations of schools of studies. I think schools of study were in that form a wonderful idea, I understand why Sussex has gone away from that. There's been a great pressure to single discipline specialisms coming as much from the disciplines themselves and people's views, people's quite mistaken views, in my opinion, about employability, as from the University, but I think it was a very good idea and in many ways it's a shame that it's been lost. I was just thinking as I came to this interview, can you think of anything more useful in the modern world than someone who has a basic and thorough training as, let's say an economist, but also does let's say 30% of the work not as an economist but as someone learning about Asian cultures in general and that of India and China in particular. Well that was what we were trying to do, and that was to our misfortune what we have abandoned.
Michael Lipton download [MP3 1.8MB]