Today I went to a lecture by Dan Gillmor, author of Dan Gillmor's eJournal. Dan is no fan of Microsoft, but apparently does have the same opinion of the folks in Microsoft Research as he does of some of the management of the company as a whole.
This is the second lecture I've been to since coming to Microsoft. I've only been to one other lecture throughout the rest of my work life (which is longer than I'd care to admit). Microsoft is very cool in that respect. They regularly bring in folks to give lectures about a variety of topics, and management condones attending these talks, assuming you are meeting your obligations.
This is just one more thing that reinforces the college campus feel at Microsoft.