Being able to think critically about the world around you and express yourself to people who might not want to hear what you have to say but need to -- asking impertinent questions in the right kinds of situations without getting your ass kicked or getting fired -- these could be the most valuable takeaway from academe.So when I got to Cambridge, I wasn't there because I wanted to be a scientist, I was there because Louis Leakey felt I needed a Ph.D. and he was right. But I didn't actually care about academia, and I knew they were talking rubbish. I knew they were wrong, so what I did at Cambridge was learn how to express what I knew in a way that did not leave me open to be attacked.
What do we do with this knowledge? I don't know ... I guess it's up to us to figure out.