If John Meisel were a modern man, questing for a pictorial brand, he would likely opt for a sketch of a little academic gnome—wizened with wisps of white hair. He came to Queen's in 1949 and has been there with only a few interruptions to the present, thus becoming something of a fixture on the landscape. Not surprisingly, he values much of what has transpired in the past, but he is also aware of many failings. Likewise, he sees flaws in some of the newfangled mantras of the present, while recognizing that mush in them is an improvement. If he were to put a slogan under his gnomish brand, it would be "Above all, no zeal," a piece of advice proffered him and his class mates by H.A. Innis—a long deceased ornament of the Canadian academy. He has taught and written about virtually every aspect of politics but came to specialize in Canadian elections and political parties, questions of national cohesion and identity, Quebecpolitics, science policy and cultural policy.