By Joern Fischer
Readers familiar with this blog will know that I struggle with occasional frustration about modern academia — its competitiveness, its speed, its often polarised debates (see this previous entry and below that one, those citing it). Talking with two of my colleagues, Jan Hanspach and Euan Ritchie, we felt it was time to make these points somewhere prominent — where people would actually read them.
To that end, we hope we have now made a step in the right direction. We just published a letter in Trends in Ecology & Evolution, entitled “Academia’s obsession with quantity”. In it, we argue that more does not equal better; though our academic accounting systems try to make us believe that those are basically the same things. We argue for more time for reflection and personal relationships, and more balanced lifestyles for academics. Utopia? We think not.
You can download the full paper here: 2012_quantity_obsession_TREE. Comments, as always, welcome, and I’d especially encourage you to share this one with colleagues — perhaps it will foster a bit of debate in people’s institutions (which I believe would be much needed).