A shining red light
At the recent European conference on educational research in Geneva, several Scottish academics found that their hotel was located in the middle of the red light district. Naturally, their thoughts immediately turned to the research possibilities.
As someone with fiscal responsibilities, Pamela Munn, dean of education at Edinburgh University, could investigate the economic aspects of the sex industry.
Julie Allan, professor at Stirling university, might conduct a sociological inquiry into the working lives of the girls on the street, with a particular emphasis on social inclusion.
For James McGonigal, professor of language education at Glasgow university, the prospect of examining the slang used in transactions between prostitutes and clients would be inviting.
And TESS columnist Walter Humes, research professor at Paisley University, who has always been interested in the leadership class, could expose the Mr Bigs behind the trade, anticipating that they might include leading figures in Genevan society.
At least that's their account of their reaction - and they're sticking to it.