… the central academic purposes of the university are imperiled. While not universally adopted, they began to take root in the nineteenth century, developed gradually in the nineteenth and twentieth, and encounter novel tensions in the twenty-first. In this century, the triad of core educational missions in nonauthoritarian societies—cultivating democratic citizenship, fostering critical thinking, and protecting academic freedom — is losing footing. A new form of utilitarianism is gaining ground. It prioritizes useful knowledge and problem-solving skills at the expense of basic inquiry…
A few pages later Mittelman notices that universities
… have become preoccupied with strategic planning, benchmarking, branding, visibility, rankings, productivity indices, quality assurance systems, students as customers, and measurable outcomes. Before the 1980s, members of the higher education community rarely expressed themselves in these terms.
And it is true – we have been struggling even after 1980 with the mysteries of nature, by designing experiments and studies, trying to make new discoveries and teaching them to our students.
Fast rewind to the “idea of a university” and the “cultivated intellect” by John Henry Newman (p15) and the usefulness of useless knowledge of Abraham Flexner. In the last century clearly a need for unanticipated outcome was felt while today basically every research program starts with a lengthy introduction that this is the most important research because disease D is so frequent or technology T is so important for the environment. Mittelman quotes Daniel Zajfman, 10th president of Israel’s Weizmann Institute, when talking about university rankings
When we look at the values of knowledge for the sake of knowledge, we realise 100 years later what we can do with this. If you look at the history of science, you will find that most of the discoveries were never made by trying to solve a problem, rather by trying to understand how nature works, so our focus is on understanding.
Another famous article from the past: P. W. Anderson “More is different” 50 years ago
… the next stage could be hierarchy or specialization of function, or both. At some point we have to stop talking about decreasing symmetry and start calling it increasing complication. Thus, with increasing complication at each stage, we go up on the hierarchy of the sciences. We expect to encounter fascinating and, I believe, very fundamental questions at each stage in fitting together less complicated pieces into a more complicated system and understanding the basically new types of behavior which can result.
Raspberry Pis are small single-board computers. As I have two of these devices already up and logging solar power production on my roof they could do even more: They are not only supporting a green environment but can also help people from countries with repressive governments by installation of another software package.
Snowflake is a system to defeat internet censorship. People who are censored can use Snowflake to access the internet. Their connection goes through Snowflake proxies, which are run by volunteers.
2022/09/25 17:44:19 In the last 1h0m0s, there were 16 connections. Traffic Relayed â†‘ 33 MB, @ 5 MB.
2022/09/25 18:44:19 In the last 1h0m0s, there were 27 connections. Traffic Relayed â†‘ 170 MB, @ 48 MB.
2022/09/25 19:44:19 In the last 1h0m0s, there were 11 connections. Traffic Relayed â†‘ 61 MB, @ 28 MB.
2022/09/25 20:44:19 In the last 1h0m0s, there were 19 connections. Traffic Relayed â†‘ 90 MB, @ 27 MB.
2022/09/25 21:44:19 In the last 1h0m0s, there were 10 connections. Traffic Relayed â†‘ 41 MB, @ 12 MB.
Although intellectual humility is presented as a widely accepted scientific norm, we argue that current research practice does not incentivize intellectual humility. We provide a set of recommendations on how to increase intellectual humility in research articles
Indeed – many recommendations are counterproductive for a science career…
Time to revisit the groundbreaking 1997 @mgoldh paper in Wired “Attention Shoppers! The currency of the New Economy won’t be money, but attention”
As is now obvious, the economies of the industrialized nations – and especially that of the US – have shifted dramatically. We’ve turned a corner toward an economy where an increasing number of workers are no longer involved directly in the production, transportation, and distribution of material goods, but instead earn their living managing or dealing with information in some form. Most call this an “information economy.”
We are committed to ensuring a safe and respectful workplace wherever NIH-supported research occurs. Be it at a recipient institution, at a conference where scientific ideas are exchanged, or in our own intramural labs, everybody deserves to work in an environment that is free of harassment, bullying, intimidation, threats, or other disruptive and inappropriate behaviors. Likewise, this goes for NIH program officers, scientific review officers (SROs), grants management specialists, and other extramural staff.
Time is short to secure a liveable and sustainable future; yet, inaction from governments, industry and civil society is setting the course for 3.2 °C of warming, with all the cascading and catastrophic consequences that this implies. In this context, when does civil disobedience by scientists become justified?
Publication details in proposals and CVs
Performance assessment based on content-related qualitative criteria also explicitly includes ensuring that the entire spectrum of academic publication types are equally displayed and acknowledged in funding proposals and CVs. In addition to a maximum of ten publications in the more common publication formats, the CV can therefore now list up to ten further sets of research outcomes and findings that have been publicised in a variety of other ways, including articles on preprint servers, data sets or software packages, for example. In DFG proposals, the project-specific list of publications will be included in the general bibliography. The intention here is to shift the focus of the review and the evaluation of a proposal away from the list of publications and towards the substance of the applicant’s accomplishments. In order to document their own published preliminary work, applicants can typographically highlight (e.g. in bold) a maximum of ten of their own publications in the bibliography that are important for the project. No information on quantitative metrics such as impact factors and h-indices is required in the CV or the proposal, and such information is not to be considered in the review. The relevant details are included in DFG forms and review instructions.