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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Hey, I’ve started reading Swedish newspapers!!! Not yet criticizing style or correcting commata. But it’s fun (more about the f-word later). Bit like reading poetry. Wondering what the author wants to tell you, etc. Here’s the piece I tried my heuristic powers on this morning. Nima Sanandaji in SvD writes an op-ed about career, life, realistic and unrealistic expectations. Key message: Not everyone can have a hipster job.

Hipster

Not sure what a hipster is, really. Have been assured that this lady fits the bill. This wikihow tells you everything you need to know to become a hipster. Been thinking of trying it myself but was… erm… dissuaded.

So what’s the message for students in stratcom and strategic PR?

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Trying to cope with the fact that Lund and Uppsala dropped out of the top 100 of the Times Higher Education World Reputation Ranking. Applied at Karolinska immediately, the only Swedish Institution left in the top 100. But they didn’t want me.

Sure, you’re a ‘doctor’, they tell me, but not a real doctor. Cheeky b…!

Real doctors treat more than one species! I protest. Hopelessly off topic, but hey who cares?!?

Read Tove Lifvendahl’s ‘krönika’ in SvD, March, 9, 2014, comes the reply. Then you’ll understand! 

Say what?!? The GoogleTranslate of that particular piece is a bit funny. So I sit down and read it old-style, i.e. in the language it was written in. Interesting explanation for the demise of Swedish academia, no doubt. Ouch!  ‘Priset för den avmätta självnöjdheten borde betraktas som alltför högt’ sounds pretty strong to my delicate ears. Can’t judge whether it’s true, what it really means, whether I agree with Mrs. Lifvendahl’s agenda for universities in general. But check it out and form your own opinion.

And in case you wonder: the LU lion’s youngest cub, this institute, is not affected by the avmät-erm-självnöjd-thingie-problem. 

Meanwhile, I turn to theconversation. Always do in times of trouble. Article about Corruption in Higher Education captures my attention, naturally. Author one David Watson, Oxford professor. Nothing exciting, really. Just the usual outrageous stuff.

But then the guy defines the core business of universities. En passant. Just so.

Many scholars have pointed out that academic communities are much better at critique than at self-awareness. By behaving well, and by taking care of their core business of telling truth not only to power but also to themselves, universities should be on the cutting edge of reducing corruption, with a view to eliminating it. It is a tough requirement, but one which we ignore at our peril.

Core business of telling the truth? Honestly? It’s been a while since I saw the T-word without scare marks. Thought it had gone out of fashion.

 

 

The molecular structure of vitamin d (http://en.wikipedia.org)

We all know: Vitamins are important to keep well and fit. Therefore we are keen to supply ourselves with enough retinol (vitamin A), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), or calcitriol (vitamin D). While reading the news this morning, I stumbled across an article, dealing with the latter one. But as a matter of fact, it does not really matter which vitamin you think of. So, let’s just look at the vitamin D, bearing vitamins at all in mind.

In an article published by Süddeutsche Online, headlined The Fairy Tale of Lack , the journalist Christian Guth reports on a new study by Autier et al. published in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology in January this year. The authors therein state, after having done a meta-analysis of 290 studies, that the additional intake of vitamin D does not improve a patients well being. Only very few treatments, as a vitamin therapy for elderly people, seem to yield significant positive results. But all in all, it rather does not matter whether we swallow some vitamin supplements, or not.

Read the abstract of Autier et al. here: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587%2813%2970165-7/fulltext#article_upsell

However, I am not concerned with the consequences of additional intake of any vitamin whatsoever. As Bones (the famous ship doctor of the Enterprise in Star Trek) in my place would say: I am a PR-researcher, not a physician (well, Bones is a physician, but that is what he would say, if he was a PR-researcher).

Every year, the pharmaceutical industry generates six billion Euros in turnover by selling dietary supplements. Naturally, Germany is one of the biggest markets for those products. And when it comes to the health issue, people become attentive. Why not “investing” some money into one’s own health by buying some vitamin pills, and therefore, maybe, dodge the next cold you surely will catch during winter?

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