Category: Featured

Sustainable Science as a Vocation

What would sustainable research and higher education mean as a vocation? Drawing on the sociologist Max Weber’s famous lecture on science as a vocation, Gorgi Krlev, outlines a vision of sustainable science, arguing that for academic research to effectively contribute to resolving the major challenges facing society it must embrace profound change on four levels. … Continued

By focusing on commercialisation we fail to recognise the more complex ways universities engage with business

Collaborations between universities and firms are often understood in terms of technology transfer and the creation of innovative products. Utku Ali Rıza Alpaydın and Rune Dahl Fitjar, draw on findings from a survey of university firm interactions in Norway, to suggest that such engagements in fact represent a minority and that good policy in this … Continued

Has the pandemic changed public attitudes about science?

Drawing on survey evidence from several western countries, Eric Allen Jensen, Aaron M. Jensen, Axel Pfleger, Eric B. Kennedy and Ethan Greenwood find that COVID-19 has coincided with a general rise in public trust in science and scientists. Based on this re-affirmed public trust, they suggest there is a new window of opportunity to accelerate … Continued

Power and publications in Chinese academia

The role of power is often neglected in accounts of scholarly communication and knowledge production, in favour of more idealised ‘scientific norms’. In this cross-post, Ruixue Jia, discusses how administrative power shapes academic research and publication in China and the wider implications an analysis of power might have for academic publishing practices.  It has been well … Continued

The hard labour of connecting research to policy during COVID-19

The worlds of policy and academia are often distant and can be difficult to span. In this post Kathryn Oliver and Annette Boaz reflect on their experience of working in the Government Office for Science to help produce the government’s new Areas of Research Interest and the particular challenges involved in establishing and mobilising networks … Continued

ARIA and Defence – A Missed Opportunity?

In February the UK government launched The Advanced Research & Invention Agency (ARIA). In this post, Emma Salisbury discusses what role the new agency might play and questions whether the transfer of this policy from its context in the US, where defence spending played a key role in the development of the agency, will deliver comparable … Continued

Book Review: Food Insecurity on Campus: Action and Intervention edited by Katharine M. Broton and Clare L. Cady

In Food Insecurity on Campus: Action and Intervention, editors Katharine M. Broton and Clare L. Cady present background research and case studies from American college campuses that are in the fight to end hunger among their students, an issue only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers, students and administrators are among those who can use these essays as a blueprint … Continued

The Post-Covid future of virtual conferences

For many researchers, 2020 will have been the first year in which they have attended any virtual academic events. In this cross-post Gina Sipley reflects on the advantages and disadvantages of virtual conferences and whether they may become a permanent fixture of the post-pandemic university.  In January when I saw the call for papers for the … Continued

Open Access to academic books creates larger, more diverse and more equitable readerships

Drawing on findings from one of the largest surveys of its kind to date, Mithu Lucraft demonstrates how Open Access to academic books has resulted in significantly larger and more diverse readerships for these books. As governments globally and in the UK reassess their commitments to OA monographs, she argues the findings make a compelling … Continued