Whether to serve the existing political order or act as ‘critic and conscience’ has of ten been an important ethical dilemma for academics working in higher education. Nevertheless this ethical burden is not shared equally over time or across higher education. Over some historical periods government policy is especially unjust and some areas of study are potentially more closely aligned with government policy than others. When academics are working both in an era of problematic government policies and in a relatively ‘applied’ area with potentially close application to those policies, their work in higher education will pose especially acute ethical dilemmas.