is a funny thing.
Having made the transition from student to academic (although quite why, still escapes me), I am still constantly amused by the size and fragility of academic egos.
It seems to be that academics are in constant competition with each other over the number and quality of their academic publications. In some part, this must be seen as a natural result of the way in which academics are scored depending on their research assessment (at least this is the case in the UK).
However, when these egos are combined with a group e-mail system, it is very entertaining to see academics having public arguments complete with citations and references in their e-mails.