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Rankings and Reputation | Lunch discussion with Willem Halffman and Frits Vaandrager (Lezing)

Datum
maandag 20 november 2017Plaats in mijn agenda
Tijd
12:45 tot
Locatie
Central Hall Huygens building (Zuidstraat) Radboud University
Organisator(s)
Radboud Reflects Maand van de Ethiek @ Faculty of Science
Spreker
philosopher Willem Halffman and vice dean of research Frits Vaandrager
Beschrijving

171120-FAgenda-Ranking-and-Reputaion-Willem-Halfmann

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Impact and output factors

How do you measure the quality of a scientist? Can quantifiable indicators such as impact factors and the number of publications in reputable journals determine the effort, inventiveness, and quality of a scientist? Rankings and reputation are considered important for scientists, research groups and universities as a whole. But does the focus on those quantifiable indicators stimulate or weaken the creativity and productivity of scientists?

Publish or perish

A scientific environment that (heavily) revolves around rankings and reputation might have its downsides. It can lead to a rat race wherein the production of ‘output’ becomes an end in itself or to a publish or perish culture wherein ‘text-recycling’ and ‘self-plagiarism’ become tempting means for scientists to meet their quota of publications. A constant pressure to generate more output might result in stress or burn-out among scientists. It might also cause them to outsource teaching, skip necessary validity checks on research results, overlook reading the work of colleagues, etc.

An alternative?

How important are output factors and global rankings for the Faculty of Science? Does the focus on these measurable factors improve or decrease the quality of research? Can the quality of research and education effectively be reduced to quantifiable indicators or does something ‘immeasurable’ or ‘human’ get lost in this reduction? Is there an alternative imaginable? And to what extent does the current academic culture allow for such a change?

Food for thought.

Speakers

willemWillem Halffman is Associate Professor in Philosophy and Science Studies at Radboud University. He studies how science and technology are woven through society. In 2015 he wrote The Academic Manifesto, calling for a public university less determined by business management models. Recently he investigated the extent and causes of academic text recycling or ‘self-plagiarism’.

fritsFrits Vaandrager is Professor Computing Science for Technical Applications and the Vice Dean of Research of the Faculty of Science at Radboud University.

Registration

Participation is free. All Faculty of Science employees and students are welcome. Please register in advance.

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In November 2017, Radboud Reflects programming highlights the Faculty of Science at Radboud University, to think about ethical issues in science with students, employees and the general public.