The improvement in educational standards and access to college for students in the developed world has lead to an unintended consequence: a global lack of laymen! The humble layman–someone not specialized in any particular discipline–is becoming a rare species as most everyone has a speciality, obtained through vocational training or university education. This may seem like a good thing, but lay-people play an essential role in our society and without them many foundational institutions will begin to crumble, including:
- The Church. Religious organizations have a growing demand for lay pastors; ministers who have no formal theological training but have been taught enough religious jargon to lecture at length about gospels and ecumenical matters.
- Clinical research. All clinical studies are approved by an Ethics Committee which must, according to regulations, include lay-people. These committee members know nothing about clinical research or medicine and are responsible for deciding whether to give potentially harmful experimental drugs to patients and healthy volunteers.
- Criminal justice. Juries are comprised of lay members; they have no particular knowledge of law or justice and decide whether or not to sentence the defendant based on their emotional response to emotively-charged storytelling from the legal personnel hired by each party.
The global paucity of laymen could lead to the so-called “expert scenario” where sermons are given by thoughtful, educated clergy, clinical research is approved by physicians and pharmacologists, and decisions on the fate of suspected criminals are made by trained experts searching objectively for the truth.
The Turunn Tribune is partnering with HBR and the Career-Active Transnational Federation of Lay Professionals (CATFLAP) to provide targeted training to address this widening gap. We will take definitive action to produce more laymen and prevent the world being run by experts! We believe that we still need “layman’s terms” otherwise journals like HBR would be full of complicated, meaningless, jargon! Help us fight to save our laymen!