Hortensii is a group of people inside and outside academia who want to alleviate the difficulties facing PhDs without permanent academic jobs. We take our name from the Roman Quintus Hortensius, who in c. 287 BC sponsored the Lex Hortensia giving civil rights to Roman plebeians.
We think that despite the current unpleasant realities facing academia many positive steps could be taken; see ‘What to do and why’ (or, if you are really brave, ‘Full report’) for exactly what these are, but to oversimplify grossly our goals are both to reduce the oversupply of disappointed would-be academics by making it easier to leave academia, and to make life better for PhDs who choose to remain in academia without a permanent job. We welcome anyone who shares these goals and is in broad agreement with our proposed actions to join us and help implement them (see ‘Please join us’ and leave an endorsement on this page if you can), and we ask people with other agendas to respect ours and leave us to it.
We are not fighting against anyone or anything and are not affiliated with any movement, political party, or country. Nor are we trying to help individuals gain employment or to interfere in any way with decisions on who should get the limited number of academic jobs available; as we have different subjects and different views on what constitutes good academic work in our fields, we wish to avoid internal dissension by remaining strictly neutral in such matters so we can work together to make life better for a group that badly needs such help.