British people see academic careers as desirable -- and as more desirable than careers that might strike many Americans as more attractive, according to a new poll from YouGov. The poll asked Britons whether they would like to do various jobs, and 51 percent said they would like to be an academic. That was the third most popular job (respondents could pick more than one), after author (60 percent) and librarian (54 percent). Among the jobs with lower rankings: doctor (39 percent), Olympic athlete (31 percent), member of Parliament (31 percent) and Hollywood movie star (31 percent).
Peking University announced Sunday that it is replacing its president, who has been controversial, with another academic leader who has also been controversial, The South China Morning Post reported. Out is Wang Enge, who has been in the office only two years and who has been criticized for his push for an elite college within the university to educate foreign students. He is being replaced by Lin Jianhua, who has been controversial in two previous presidencies.
Antismoking groups and some academics are calling on the University of Zurich to retract two papers it published -- without peer review -- that were financed by Philip Morris International, The Guardian reported. The papers argued that there is no evidence that requiring cigarettes to be sold in plain packages has an impact on tobacco use. Critics are questioning the findings and the nature of the arrangement with Philip Morris, noting that the company had the right to review the material prior to publication. The researchers defend their work and say that it is being described inaccurately.
Canadian authorities are investigating the theft of three paintings from various buildings at the University of Toronto. Police officers say the paintings were stolen from separate locations, and that they were cut out of their frames. The most valuable of the three is "Church of Santa Maria della Salute," by Francesco Guardi (at right). The Globe and Mail reported that paintings by Guardi have sold in recent years for many millions of dollars.