Slow Science Manifesto

Publicado en Artículos

Reproduzimos o começo da petição pública Slow Science Manifesto, originada por Robrecht Vanderbeeken, da Universidade de Gante.


«Academia undergoes radical shifts. New forms of management, financing, and goal setting change the conditions of research. In different places in the world these developments are questioned. We share many of the ideas of this movement. A slow science movement is emerging...

I. Science is not a business

Society, policies and universities underwent profound changes in the last few decades. Market laws and monetarism dominate politics and public service. Scientific and technological innovation is defined as crucial to the knowledge economy. Universities have been subjected to totally new conditions: a business model currently redirects work and working conditions towards competitive and utilitarian outputs. Research is to a considerable extent streamlined through externally defined programmes of R&D, privatized research resources and results (patents; spin offs), and--mainly quantitative--criteria of scientific 'excellence'. Workloads have become excessive and labour contracts precarious. Curricula were ‘flexibilized’ and ‘modularized’ to enable the commodification of courses meeting individual needs.

This business model of academia, based on principles of intellectual and economic meritocracy, needs critical appraisal and resistance. The increased privatization of education and research needs to come to an end. The university should not take part in the perverse neoliberal logic of the socialisation of costs and the privatization of gains. State (and therefore tax payers) subsidized research should not be at the service of spinoffs of all sorts. Overwork and (self) exploitation of young, precarious academics should not be the norm. Contributing to the glory of corporations is not the aim of academic work. The university is neither the R&D branch of business corporations nor the endorser of a (politically supported) knowledge economy.

We call for a new constituent discussion on the basics of scientific research and education, the mission and nature of universities and the practices in research. That is the aim of this movement and this call. (...)» 

> Slow Science Manifesto