Academia’s obsession with quantity revisited yet again…

By Joern Fischer Some years ago, together with a couple of colleagues, I published a little note called “Academia’s obsession with quantity”. We followed up on this with another slightly longer note outlining a roadmap for “an academia beyond quantity”. Some years have passed, and I felt it’s time to re-visit these original ideas here. … Continue reading

Academia’s obsession with quantity revisited

By Joern Fischer A little while ago, together with my colleagues Euan Ritchie and Jan Hanspach, I led a paper entitled “Academia’s obsession with quantity”. This paper quickly became one of the most downloaded papers from TREE, and considering how short it is, it has clearly had “impact” (ironically, perhaps more so than its more … Continue reading

A roadmap towards an academia beyond quantity

By Joern Fischer … individual academics can start the process of change within their workplaces, rather than blindly running along on an ever-faster treadmill to intellectual nowhere… Without much further ado, I’d like to point you towards our latest (and for the time being, probably last!) paper on how to move towards an academia that is not … Continue reading

Now published: Academia’s obsession with quantity

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 … Continue reading


By Joern Fischer Many years ago, I published “Academia’s obsession with quantity”. Similar arguments about unhelpful trends have been made in many places, including recently in a nice piece by Paasche and Österblom. My sense is increasingly that many university systems are deeply broken already. Arguably, we have a new wave of “crowding out” unfolding: … Continue reading

A social-ecological perspective on food security and biodiversity conservation

By Joern Fischer At last, a paper we started to think about at a SESYNC workshop in Maryland finally got published in Regional Environmental Change. The paper lays out a conceptual foundation for how to think about food security and biodiversity conservation from a social-ecological perspective. In this blog post, I’d like to highlight two key … Continue reading

Re-balancing … everything?

By Joern Fischer In a particularly insightful comment to a recent blog post of mine, Jahi Chappell challenged the ultimate benefits of ever-increasing specialisation. Having thought about this a bit, I was struck by the generality of what this may mean. I was amazed by just how often, the problems we discuss in sustainability science … Continue reading