Global pressure, local opposition. Tendencies toward a human academic environment.

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)Research

Samenvatting

It is common knowledge: Thomson Reuters Web of Science dominates the academic world. The comparison with Credit Rating Agencies like Moody's hold: they all seem to forget that their arbitrary rankings strongly influence individual lives. I will show that the pressure to publish in ISI-ranked journals (1) makes the academic work environment unfriendly, therefore unhealthy and can lead to burnouts. Indeed, most research suggests that work-related features, such as the chronic stressor of workload, are strongly related to burnout. [González-Morales, M.G., et al., 2012, "Perceived collective burnout: a multilevel explanation of burnout." Anxiety, Stress & Coping: An International Journal 25:1, pp. 43-61). Also, the subsequent rat race (2) shapes scientific research methodologically and (3) determines its content. Recent cosmological research offers relevant case studies. I focus on the Hubble Space Telescope project and the Mitra-Hawking controversy regarding black holes.

It all comes to two phenomena: (a) mainstream science and (b) managerism. (a) People want to be part of mainstream thinking, because it allows them to reap success. Success comes twofold: people are respected and they earn more money. It is evident that the Mathew effect plays a key role in this. [Merton, R.K., 1968, "The Matthew Effect in Science." Science 159 (3810), pp. 56-63] (b) National governments link research funding to scientific output. The academic authorities rank their faculties according to the amount of ISI-papers, weighed by the respective impact factors of the journals in which the papers appear.

"We're all in for the money," so the governments on all levels hold. On the work floor, people think differently. PhD-students hang unambiguous cartoons on their doors, reputable professors oppose openly in the media to the economic hegemony worshiped by their rectors. It is my content that universities should promote the humanistic character of higher education, instead of serving pure economic production. [Xianming, X., 2006, "Academic Management and Administration System Reform in Higher Education Institutions." Frontiers of Education in China 1 (1), pp. 70-78]

In Flanders (Belgium), following the Norwegian example, an alternative ranking for research output is available (Vlaams Academisch Bibliografisch Bestand - Flemish Academic Bibliographical File). It lessens the pressure on the humanities. The ISI-monopoly is broken by the acceptance of local publications and a valuation of monographies. Books, indeed, are weighed four times as much as ISI-papers, given that they hold a GPRC-label (Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content). [http://www.boekenvak.be/gprc, Dutch, viewed 29/02/12.] It is a first step to make the academic world more human.
Originele taal-2English
TitelScientific cosmopolitanism and local cultures: religions, ideologies, societies
SubtitelBook of abstracts. 5TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIETY FOR THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE
RedacteurenGianna Katsiampoura
Plaats van productieAthens
StatusPublished - 2 okt 2012
Evenement5TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OFTHE EUROPEAN SOCIETY FORTHE HISTORY OF SCIENCE: SCIENTIFIC COSMOPOLITANISM AND LOCAL CULTURES: RELIGIONS, IDEOLOGIES, SOCIETIES - National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athene, Greece
Duur: 1 nov 20123 nov 2012

Conference

Conference5TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OFTHE EUROPEAN SOCIETY FORTHE HISTORY OF SCIENCE
Land/RegioGreece
StadAthene
Periode1/11/123/11/12

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