Speaking on a panel of vice-chancellors at the Times Higher Education’s World Academic Summit, Prof Louise Richardson slammed Gove’s comments - which he made in 2016, weeks before Britain voted to leave the EU - and said that the development of coronavirus vaccines showed that experts are pretty important.
As reported in the Guardian, she said: “Michael Gove, the British cabinet minister who I am embarrassed to confess we educated, famously said after it was pointed out to him by a journalist that all the experts opposed Brexit, he said: ‘Oh we’ve had enough of experts.’
“With the vaccine, it seems like the public can’t get enough of experts. Many of our scientists have become household names.
“We have demonstrated through the vaccine work and the development of therapeutics and so on just how much universities can contribute and that’s enormously helpful to our cause.”
Gove studied English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (LMH) and graduated in 1988. While there, he was elected president of the Oxford Union debating society and was also involved in the Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA).
His comments about experts had been made when he was quizzed by Sky News and asked to name economists who agreed with Brexit in June 2016. He couldn’t name any.
Gove, then Lord Chancellor, said: “I think the people of this country have had enough of experts with organisations with acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong.”
indy100 has approached Gove and Oxford University for comment.