Author: Taster

Book Review: Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost by Caitlin Zaloom

In Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost, Caitlin Zaloom draws on more than 160 interviews with college students and their families to explore how middle-class households in the US pay for university. This is a timely and accessible study that breaks through the taboo surrounding family finances, making useful sociological points not only about the cost of higher education, but also […]

Four principles for practising and evaluating co-production – a view from sustainability research.

The co-production paradigm has become commonplace across many disciplines as a means of orchestrating the production of useful knowledge aligned to different social needs. Drawing on the expertise of 36 co-production practitioners in the field of sustainability research, Dr Albert Norström, Dr Chris Cvitanovic, Dr Marie F. Löf, Dr Simon West and Dr Carina Wyborn, present a new working definition of […]

CRediT Check – Should we welcome tools to differentiate the contributions made to academic papers?

Elsevier is the latest in a lengthening list of publishers to announce their adoption for 1,200 journals of the CASRAI Contributor Role Taxonomy (CRediT). Authors of papers in these journals will be required to define their contributions in relation to a predefined taxonomy of 14 roles. In this post, Elizabeth Gadd weighs the pros and cons of defining contributorship in […]

Book Review: Competitive Accountability in Academic Life: The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy by Richard Watermeyer

In Competitive Accountability in Academic Life: The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy, Richard Watermeyer critically explores the increasing quantification of academic life and the rise of the marketised competitive university. This book particularly succeeds in not only exploring the futility and counterproductiveness of quantified academic performance metrics, but also revealing how complicity among some academics allows these practices to become even […]

Not yet the default setting – in 2020 open research remains a work in progress.

Responding to Daniel Hook’s post, The Open Tide – How openness in research and communication is becoming the default setting, Daniel Spichtinger argues that there remains much work to be done in order for open research practices to become the “new normal”. Highlighting unresolved issues around learned societies and the globalisation of open research policies, he suggests that rather than […]

A degree of studying –  Students who treat education as a commodity perform worse than their intrinsically motivated peers

One of the pivotal transformations in the marketisation of higher education has been the introduction of tuition fees. A degree from a higher education institution can now, to some extent, be purchased like any other commodity.  In this post Louise Bunce presents evidence that students who identify as consumers of their education perform worse academically than students motivated by an […]

To improve the global evidence ecosystem we need to listen to the Global South.

Drawing on their recent study of South Africa’s evidence ecosystem, Ruth Stewart, Harsha Dayal, Laurenz Langer and Carina van Rooyen, show how the global north has much to learn from evidence ecosystems in the global south. Outlining five lessons that can be learnt from the South African evidence ecosystem, they argue that if notions of a global evidence ecosystem are […]

For the humanities to play a stronger role in public policy making, they must move from individual to institutional engagement

What should society expect from the humanities? This question has become pressing in the debate around interdisciplinary research in support of public policy that aims to tackle societal issues. To influence that policy effectively, argues Frans Brom, the humanities must transcend individualism. This would mean not only abandoning “outsider” perspectives focusing solely on criticism of power through individual political action, […]

What we talk about when we talk about universities, a review essay

The history of universities, including in the UK, is always also the history of the political community; their future, equally, dependent on the future of the community as a whole. In this review essay, Jana Bacevic examines two recent books that offer a good illustration of this point, Who Are Universities For? by Tom Sperlinger, Josie McLellan and Richard Pettigrew and British Universities in the Brexit Moment by Mike Finn.  This review […]