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Down the Slippery Slope: The Perils of the Academic Research Industry
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2013 (English)In: Transformations in Research, Higher Education and the Academic Market: The Breakdown of Scientific Thought / [ed] Sharon Rider, Ylva Hasselberg, Alexandra Waluszewski, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2013, 125-135 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The present chapter attempts to describe the move into what can be called the era of the academic research industry. To write and “produce” more in less time has become a value in itself, rhetorically accompanied by claims that it needs to be “cutting edge” and to achieve excellence. Because research is much like performing arts, the advantages of scale, however, are illusory. The equation of more and better research in less time is hard to achieve because of the inherent logic of creativity in research: the time-consuming activities of experimentation and failure. The overall perils of the industrialization of academic research lie in that these insights, that we need to allow for risk-taking and the acceptance of genuine uncertainty, are buried in all the more elaborate efforts of time and space management that deceptively make us feel as if we are in control. As a consequence of the “slippery-slope” effect, where you do not notice each individual step along the treacherous path, academic researchers more or less tacitly accept these efficiency practices and norms evolving within the research industry, practices that actually may destroy or irrevocably damage necessary preconditions for original research, innovation, and discovery.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2013. 125-135 p.
, Higher Education Dynamics, ISSN 1571-0378 ; 39
National Category
Humanities Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-161250ISBN: 978-94-007-5248-1 (Print)ISBN: 978-94-007-5249-8 (Online)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-161250DiVA: diva2:455526
Available from: 2011-11-10 Created: 2011-11-10 Last updated: 2013-06-12Bibliographically approved

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