This was not always the case, particularly in some areas of study. Several times, I went to Bangladesh to interview people and visit places in conditions that were dangerous - and at times, life threatening.
No-one who hasn't experienced circumstances where there is no effective rule of law, no guarantee of personal safety even in a police station, the presence of bombs, small arms fire and other deadly weapons can appreciate what this is like, especially if you are on your own and have to take on trust the word of people you do not know.
I have been in these conditions. I wrote diaries and kept records of events. Some of these may seem implausible in our safely cocooned society in Australia. Some things may even seem melodramatic.
Reading back through my 1996 diary, when Bangladesh seemed on the verge of a civil war I was trapped in, there was nothing melodramatic about it at all from my point of view, yet there are things I wrote then that I probably would have written differently with more maturity and understanding. Yet I have not edited these out as I may as well leave it as an historical record and not something that looks more polished and benefiting from the wisdom of hindsight. Remember also that descriptions of Bangladesh are from 1996 and not now, 15 years later!
My Bangladeshi friends may think it is overstated in places, but that's because the majority of them have lived with extremes all their lives, especially those who were part of the holocaust in Bangladesh in 1971 and have subsequently witnessed political violence and death on a scale practically no-one in Australia can start to imagine unless they have covered an active war zone.
Here is one academic who didn't live his academic life in an ivory tower.
March 12, 1996 9:45 AM
NOTE Here's the final part to the story. I wonder if anyone noticed it was missing?