“Defending Scholarships but not all Scholars”

Address by Eddie Teo, Chairman, Public Service Commission, at the Singapore Seminar 2009 in London

on 31 Oct 09


I am very glad to see so many of you here today. When I first discussed this Seminar with the scholar organizers, the question was raised if the topics we chose would attract a large turnout. I was assured that if PSC so directs, no scholar will refuse to attend. Needless to say, I was not at all reassured by that remark. I hope that you are all here because you are keen to participate in this Seminar and not because you have been directed to do so. I look forward very much to hearing your views as much as I do to the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.



November 3, 2009 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

How to Be Happy in Academe


Recently a young male professor in philosophy astonished me when he turned down a tenure-track job offer at a small, rural public university and then decided to leave academe. If he couldn’t get a great job at a research university, he told me, or at least a job in a great city, he would change fields.

Another junior acquaintance in philosophy, a single woman approaching 30, confessed to me recently that she might quit her tenure-track job at a private college in a large city, a job she has had only for a year and that she obtained after a series of one-year appointments. Her major complaints? Her school has old buildings, average students, and lousy computer support, and her department doesn’t organize socials like her department in graduate school did.

Those discussions made me realize that today’s young academics might need to lower their expectations, especially in light of the country’s current economic woes. But judging by my experience, that mental adjustment could lead to rich opportunities. My struggle to establish a career in philosophy turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.


January 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm Leave a comment

Protected: Delivering a 30-second elevator speech on my work

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December 19, 2008 at 7:18 pm Enter your password to view comments.

Give up citizenship? Brothers must do NS first

THREE brothers, born to a Norwegian father and Singaporean mother, want to give up their Singapore citizenship.

But the Ministry of Defence has said no. Not until they do their national service.

The Bugge brothers – Thorbjoern, 33; Ingvar, 31; and Frode, 30 – left Singapore when each turned 18 and have tried and failed several times for over a decade to renounce their Singapore citizenships.

They want to renounce their citizenship so they will be free to visit their parents – Mr O.M. Bugge, 65, and his wife Margaret, 55 – who still live here.


August 25, 2008 at 10:50 pm 8 comments

Ivy Leaguers’ Big Edge: Starting Pay

By SARAH E. NEEDLEMAN (Wall Street Journal)

Where people go to college can make a big difference in starting pay, and that difference is largely sustained into midcareer, according to a large study of global compensation.

In the yearlong effort, PayScale Inc., an online provider of global compensation data, surveyed 1.2 million bachelor’s degree graduates with a minimum of 10 years of work experience (with a median of 15.5 years). The subjects hailed from more than 300 U.S. schools ranging from state institutions to the Ivy League, and their incomes show that the subject you major in can have little to do with your long-term earning power. PayScale excluded survey respondents who reported having advanced degrees, including M.B.A.s, M.D.s and J.D.s.


August 1, 2008 at 10:35 pm Leave a comment

The Power Of The Question

Taken from here.

This guest editorial is by Richard N. Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford University, who recently addressed the graduating members of Phi Beta Kappa at Stanford. The following editorial is derived from his address.

The question is a little-understood element of human cognition. Nevertheless, some question is at the center of every scientific and technological advance, and fundamental questions underlie every humanistic quest to comprehend the world about us. The question is a central aspect of both learning and knowledge creation.


July 30, 2008 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

A Perpetual Student Pursues Education to the Nth Degree


Benjamin B. Bolger’s story seems like a hoax. At age 32, he says, he has just earned his 11th advanced degree: a doctorate that Harvard University awarded him on Thursday.

He distributed a news release for the occasion, proclaiming himself the most credentialed person “in modern history.” The release lists 10 master’s degrees, in various disciplines, from Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, Columbia (two), Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth, Brandeis, and Skidmore as well as 14 other colleges where he has taught in the past decade.

Mr. Bolger’s unlikely story has another twist: He is dyslexic. He titles his tale “The Boy Who Couldn’t Read Gets a Doctorate from Harvard.”

Proud but winsome, Mr. Bolger is an education addict and his resume is real.


June 6, 2008 at 11:53 am Leave a comment

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