|(when you google 'general public', this is what you get)|
'members of the general public' wound up being one lone man. who then came along to our committee dinner after the seminar and sat so close to the speaker that each of us committee members mistook him for her husband.
after dinner, after the speaker had fled into the night and it had been established that the member of the general public was not her husband, had not previously known her, was in no way affiliated with academia, and really was just a member of the general public in the generalest sense, he mentioned that he'd heard about the seminar on twitter.
we looked at one another in wonder as this was not something we had known was plugged on twitter.
given that twitter casts a wide net that nets ONE, it maybe needn't be.
on the train ride home, as we discussed the oddness of the member of the general public and realized it maybe wasn't the safest thing that he had accompanied our other female committee member to the train ('i hope he doesn't slay miranda...'), my fellow committee member turned to me and said, 'maybe we should limit our audience to the university. members of the general public are just creepy.'
and, thus, the doors to the ivory tower which i had so hoped to pry open slammed shut. way to ruin it for everyone else, dude.