A late call on the passing of Sol Encel, a tireless writer and public intellectual, acknowledged as the father of Australian sociology. He died suddenly and peacefully at home, aged 84, still engaged in a range of writing and research projects.
He came from Poland at the age of 4 and touched just about every base that a high achieving academic and public intellectual could achieve. He was a prolific reader, writer, academic empire builder, networker and public intellectual on the social democratic side of politics. The worthy causes that he embraced are too numerous to list in a short post, they are treated here.
His academic cv speaks for itself.
This is a tribute from Michael Pusey which signals the mixed legacy of Encel’s achievement. He shared the tragedy of his generation, that his views were shaped at a time when the ideas of classical liberalism and good economics were off the agenda for progressive intellectuals. As a result, academic Sociology became in some ways a black hole of intellectual activity, epitomised by the work of Pusey himself.
It is most unfortunate that a man of Encel’s intellect, committment and energy did not get a good understanding of the very best ideas in economics and the other social sciences and make them available to the generations of students and researchers who he mentored.