‘Självnöjdhet’ / Truth

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.

 

 

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