Mathias Binswanger “Excellence by Nonsense: The Competition for Publications in Modern Science”

An interesting perspective from economist Mathias Binswanger:

“The modern university is only marginally concerned with gaining knowledge, even though the public from time to time is assured that this is still the major goal. Today’s universities are, on the one hand, fundraising institutions, determined to receive as many research funds as possible. On the other hand, they are publication factories, trying to maximize their publication output. Hence, the ideal professor is a mixture of fundraiser, project manager, and mass publisher (either directly as author, or as co-author in publications written by employees of the institution), whose main concern is measurable contribution to scientific excellence, rather than increasing our knowledge. Moreover, in order to make professors deliver their contribution to excellence, faculty managers have been recruited for each department in addition to traditional deans. Nowadays, the principal is sort of a CEO who is supposed to implement new strategies for achieving more and more excellence. Research becomes a means in the battle for “market shares” of universities and research institutions (Münch 2009).”

via Excellence by Nonsense: The Competition for Publications in Modern Science.


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