LSE - Small Logo
LSE - Small Logo

Ingrina Carson

September 22nd, 2016

Welcome to the LSE. I don’t care what you think.

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Ingrina Carson

September 22nd, 2016

Welcome to the LSE. I don’t care what you think.

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

LSE International Development MSc Development Management Professor Jean-Paul Faguet
Professor Jean-Paul Faguet

Professor Jean-Paul Faguet
Professor of the Political Economy of Development
Programme Co-Director, Development Management

Dear students,

Welcome to the LSE. I don’t care what you think.

Or maybe, to be a bit more accurate, the fact that you think something is not itself very convincing. I am interested – indeed very interested – in what you think, because in some respect it is bound to be wrong. I’m here to teach and you’re here to learn. Identifying those mistaken assumptions, informational gaps, and incorrect mental models is one of our most pressing priorities. Along the way we will also identify the many correct assumptions, informational assets, and insightful mental models that you also have.

But it is important that we both understand this from the start: your opinions do not have some irreducible merit because they are yours. Nor do mine, nor do any of my colleagues’. What does have merit is the product of our intellectual work, founded on solid theory and well-chosen evidence, leading to insights about how the world works that are both non-obvious and true. We’re pretty sure we have some of these at the LSE – otherwise we wouldn’t be here. But we’re equally sure that there’s a great deal that we, and the rest of the world, do not yet understand. The main point of academia – especially at the postgraduate level – is to distinguish what we know from what we don’t know, and to improve the tools we have for pushing back the darkness. In the latter especially, your help is crucial, precisely because you are not invested in the tools and models that we currently have, and so are more likely to come up with creative new ones.

Welcome to the LSE. It’s going to be intense and frustrating at first. And then it’s going to be exhilarating. We’re delighted that you came.

About the author

Ingrina Carson

Posted In: Featured | News from the Department

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RSS Justice and Security Research Programme

  • JSRP and the future
    The JSRP drew to a close in 2017 but many of the researchers and partners involved in the programme continue to work on the issues and theories developed during the lifetime of the programme. Tim Allen now directs the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa (FLCA) at LSE where many of the JSRP research team working […]
  • Life after the LRA
    The JSRP reached the end of its grant in spring 2017 but several outputs from the programme are scheduled for publication in the coming months. The most recent of these is a new journal article from Holly Porter and Letha Victor drawing on their extensive research with JSRP in the Acholi region of northern Uganda.  The […]

RSS LSE’s engagement with South Asia

  • Recovering from the Pandemic: South Asian Economies Need Greater Self-Sufficiency
    The Covid-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the global economy. Ghamz E Ali Siyal argues that the large populations and fragile economies of South Asia warrant particular measures for recovery, including the unfashionable path of autarky, increasing investments in digital competencies and serious debt-relief measures.   The word ‘Coronavirus’ was at the top of […]
  • Taliban’s Takeover of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Security Challenges
    Despite friendly relations between the two countries, the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has been far from an unmixed blessing for neighbouring Pakistan. Zahid Shahab Ahmed provides the context and assesses the security challenges that Pakistan faces arising out of the Taliban’s rule over Afghanistan.   As the US troops began withdrawal from Afghanistan during July–August […]