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You wrote:

One of my main objections to orthodoxy in the academic community is that professors in universities & colleges around the world are forced to published or be denied tenure. You name the profession and you will find an ocean of literature on it that is nothing but swill. There are a few gems in this mess but who wants to wade through it to get at those gems? Most will wade through it and never get at them.

My reply:

'Publish or Perish' is the phrase. Bill, it is actually worse than that. Universities in Britain are rated on the amount they publish NOT the quality of what is published. SO, there is a ratings system that demands large volume publication. BUT of course most of what is published might as well not be read as it is not demanded by new research BUT by the need to maintain a good university rating. The lecturers and researchers have a knife at their throat. If they do not publish they perish. Thus they are forced to spend a great deal of time dealing with a small area of research with little time available to do arbitrary investigation on whim. This means that even the experts do not know the body of knowledge of their own area of expertise. Also, the knife at the throat prevents any attempt at transcending that body of knowledge by innovation - they cannot shake the tree to get rid of the bad leaves.

Unfortunately only will at the political level can change such a state of affairs. BUT there is no will in politics anymore - it is all economic management. There is no vision of the future only a reaction to short term projections and events.

University departments that don't make profits or don't provide prestige are having their funding reduced or the departments actually closed down. Partnerships with the private sector are increasing BUT of course the private sector demands that research be orientated towards products of economic viability. Thus potential knowledge with a different kind of value to the monetary kind is already ruled out of the game. Students, Lecturers,Researchers and Professors now walk dark narrow corridors in Universities. Some of the Professors I have known have shared my views - they see this decline but they don't want to rock the boat out of fear that they'll be tossed overboard.

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Subject Views Written By Posted
THE FUSS WITH ORTHODOXY 550 Randy Johnson 01-Dec-00 20:25
ORTHODOXY & What is at stake: TENURE. 136 William John Meegan 01-Dec-00 22:10
Publish or Perish 281 jameske 02-Dec-00 03:29

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