The Soul of the Research University, by Nicholas Lemann. This is one of the best (brief) histories of the modern research university and the conflicts that arise between teaching and research, and between the Ivory Tower, and training for that little bit of the world that is outside Higher Education. Nice summaries of Newman, Flexner, Clark Kerr etc. The author is a professor of journalism, and a former Dean at Columbia. It shows.
Pharma:We need to talk about Kevin…. oops I mean Pharma [link]. Depressing and dismal, if not shameful.
More dismal reading: The major scientific discoveries of the 20th Century would not have happened under today’s rules, they would not get funding now. [link]
Why good people leave science [link]
Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws. Bruce Alberts et al.here and a comment from an economic perspective (Malthus all over again). As the author says ‘Get it? It’s as if the Pope and three leading cardinals held a press conference predicting the collapse of the Catholic church. These people know what they are talking about and we need to listen.’
The Heart of research is Sick, by Peter Lawrence, and The mismeasurement of science, by Peter Lawrence in which he recalls the classic Leo Szilard parable about how to kill genuine discovery. Can you imagine Szilard in the academy?
It’s that time of year isn’t it?