10 Ocak 2013 Perşembe

akademik kıvamsızlık

inbox'uma bir makale* geldi, okudum, kendi alanındaki bir akademik derginin 10 yıldır editörlüğünü yürütmekte olan ve 30 yıllık akademik geçmişe sahip bir bey yazmış. akademik hayatın performans kriterleri, niceliksel ölçümler, bunları takip eden "publish and perish" ve ilgili kıvamsızlıklarla ilgili şöyle söylüyor:

"According to many colleagues, those who survive in this worldwide rat race are not
the intelligent ones, but the ‘‘smart’’ ones. Or the ‘‘fittest’’ ones to use Darwin’s
terminology, the ‘‘meritocrats’’ in Verhaeghe’s terminology: the ones that adapt
most easily to different circumstances, the ones who are able to sublimate their
cognitive dissonance and emotional friction, the ones who are not afraid to cut
corners here and there. What is nowadays called academic success has less to do with
research quality, epistemological contribution and service to the research community
than with other skills such as emotional and social intelligence, leadership, team
building, strategic insight, organization and management, networking, fund raising,
serendipity and public relations. All this is not necessarily negative, but we should be
aware that we are selecting different skills and qualities than we did a couple of
decades ago. Are we ready for the consequences of this choice?

These new meritocrats (can we still call them scholars?) play the game. But in
order to become completely successful, they had to take over power from traditional
scholars and send them to oblivion as totally unproductive. In order to be able to do
that, they needed an accomplice. They found associates in the administrators who
were initially hired to support academic staff in better reaching the university’s goals.
It was indeed a double power take-over in perfect collusion. As good old academic
freedom was a thorn in these administrators’ flesh, they gradually started with
procedures, rules and forms; a lot of red tape. Scholars are being turned into civil
servants, just executing rules, blinded by evaluation criteria.

Scholars – as a survival strategy – nowadays select their activities more and
more – and even their contacts – on the basis of the points they can earn for
appointment, tenure or promotion. In a way that seems like a caricature: they first
select a co-author, agree to publish, choose a journal, decide on a topic and
eventually carry out a research activity, if any. Their starting point and thrust is not
their passion for knowledge, their desire to design solutions, their urge for
epistemological contribution, or their commitment to the community."

ve sonra ekliyor:

"This leads us to what we could call the ‘‘epistemological paradox’’: an exaggerated or
exclusive focus on publications is not only counterproductive, it even leads to fewer
high-quality publications, less cutting-edge research and eventually it becomes fatal
for someone’s career as researcher. The more pressure, the less knowledge creation
and sharing."

blogdaki çeşitli şikayetnamelerimi bu hususta önden alınmış notlar olarak değerlendirdiğimden yeni bir not eklemeyeceğim. bu böyle. aynen böyle. ve öneriler de şunlar:

"... to resist this academic meritocracy in a dignified manner; to speak up with arguments and
reasons; to advocate slow research; to fight this unilateral, counterproductive and
unfair academic evaluation system."

*Jozef Colpaert (2012): The “Publish and Perish” syndrome, Computer Assisted Language Learning, 25:5, 383-391

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