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14/12/2011: Renaming Research Institutes, a Dangerous Pastime

Thanks to the generous bequest of my great grandfather, the 15th Squire Farkham, there is a research building in our grounds. This was originally set up to pursue many branches of science, and since 1879, when the old man died, it has been known as The Farkham Institute of Science and Technology (FIST). Increasingly however, Farkham University has taken a leading role in raising the necessary finance and guiding the direction of research.

In recent times, this has been led by one of the stellar names in world research into lung disorders, Professor Sarah Schwer. This work has taken such precedence that last year, the institute was renamed.

Having had meetings of several committees, focus groups and management teams, it was decided that the name must represent specific areas of the science carried out there. Eventually, a competition was held among the staff at the institute to find the most appropriate suggestion. This was won by a junior lab technician called Freddie O'Farrrell, or FoF as he prefers to be known. For that reason, the Farkham Institute of Science and Technology has now become The Farkham University Centre for Asthma, Lymphangioleiomyomatosis & Lung research.

However, severe consternation was caused, not least among the visiting dignitaries, when the new plaque celebrating the name change to FUCALL was unveiled. Hasty memos were composed to staff warning of severe damage to careers should the acronym be used, even in private. Rumour has it that Mr O'Farrell has been posted to their Shetland research centre, the Shetland and Hebrides Institute of Technology, with little hope of advancement from his duties that mainly comprise the gathering of sheep droppings. What's in a name eh£

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