Friday, April 20, 2018

Research seminar

At last, it was finally Friday the 20th of April and time to take that 05.13 am bus to the airport. Waking up to a light rain after two weeks of the most incredible spring weather one could ever wish for, it felt like a perfect time to leave.

Yesterday, at the research seminar, one of our senior professors who is about to retire after a most impressive career, talked about her experiences as a member of different research councils for many years. After that, another professor at the department who has just been awarded a multi-million research grant, generously shared her application with the rest of us to highlight some key factors for success in the rather peculiar universe of external research funding.

To no surprise, they both concluded that management and communication skills are becoming increasingly important in order to attract funding. After all, given the pervasiveness of New Public Management across society, why should higher education be any different? It is of course a banal point that many others have already made but just imagine someone like Ludwig Wittgenstein being evaluated in terms of the “feasibility” of Tractatus logico-philosophicus? Or, which I could not help myself asking, what score on “scientific significance” would Copernicus have been given by his geocentric peers?

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