Ron Barassi, Rhodes Scholar?

Contemplating recent nominations for the Prestigious Critical Rationalist Scholar award. Terence Kealey, Barry Smith, the late Sir Donald Bradman and Ronald Dale Barassi.

The criteria for the PCR Scholar are identical to the four that are  used for the Rhodes Scholarship, covering academic achievement, participation in sports, personal character, leadership and community service. PCR scholars include Struan Jacobs, Karl Popper and Peter Klein.

Given the requirement for academic component the scholarship is awarded to university graduates but the level of achievement required is not high enough to preclude some unlikely winners such as Ross Campbell who was stunned to achieve the award. He suspected a clerical error because he was short on sports and community service as well. There is an interview in the  Hazel de Berg collection but the link fails. This is more fun than the interview.  [Warning, he does not sound like a Rhodes Scholar]. You could say if Ross Campbell could win it, practically anyone could.

Recall that in Barassi’s time only about 2% of people went to uni, a couple of decades later he probably would have gone and achieved a respectable degree to teach Physical Education. On the other criteria he looks good, you have to give some points for growing up in Tasmania and coming to the rescue (aged in his 70s) when he saw a girl being monstered in the street.

Much the same applies to Bradman with the advantage that he was more obviously cerebral.

The big problem for the committee is to decide is how much to allow for talents that were not realised for lack of opportunity. And how much weight to assign to the academic component in relation to the other three criteria.

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Edward Mariyani-Squire
Edward Mariyani-Squire
11 years ago

Good to see Popper got a gersey, but how did he jump the “sports” hurdle?

11 years ago

The bar is low, he scraped over on account of his love of skiing and mountain climbing.

The bar is high for scholarship, the award is prima facie for learning, so more is required than the good uni performance of the Rhodes Scholars. That rules out Bradman and Barassi at the end of the day.

Edward Mariyani-Squire
Edward Mariyani-Squire
11 years ago

Why hasn’t Joe Agassi been nominated? Outrageous!

Does a candidate have to be alive to win? Perhaps Paul Feyerabend should be nominated on the grounds that he, more than any other Critical Rationalist, took critical questioning to its absolute limit. That would set the cat among the pigeons. I can see the headline now: “PKF nominated Crit Rat award. 11 Crit Rats dead, heart attacks.”

11 years ago

Candidates do not have to be alive. Hence the award to Popper.

I will take on board your nomination of Feyerabend, as you say he was highly critical and apart from snide remarks about Popper and his wife, and trying too hard to differentiate his product from the man himself, he was eminently critical and rational in his serious arguments. Good Call! Not a very nice man, but. As revealed in his correspondence with Lakatos.

If you really want to shock the Crit Rats, nominate Imre!

Agassi is a good call as well, you have revealed that our PR unit is not earning its keep, Agassi has been honoured already!