Monthly Archives: July 2015

Can we fix academia by disentangling the two core businesses of research and teaching?

Ah, I *do* love an Agent Provocateur, Adam.

But my only issue with this piece, is that as a course director, about to see the fruition of 3 years of Brainwashing undergrads to be Biomedical researcher ‘Engineers’ versus the (stable/ lucrative) Clinician ‘Mechanics’ , you need your top Research active people (preferably with skillz in ‘infotainment’), who can sell the ‘dream’, to overcome avarice.

Or at least sell future clinicians, the need to embed research for future job prospects (thus embracing their avarice) , as in the UK system. Hence the laggardly move to the MD model here. But the embedded research components, are barely Honours projects?

Lots of in silico data crunching for Clinical Epi is great for ‘sign posting’ in my research, but to find treatments for disease, we need rational drug design, which involves huge efforts to understand the basic underpinning mechanisms.

(after the 6-18 months to get your Ethics for Human/Animal/Biosafety through!!!)

Mel XX

Fear and Loathing in Academia

It’s been a while between posts. I’ll begin with two caveats. 1. I enjoy writing in stream of consciousness; think fast, write fast, let the warts be topics for discussion. Over-refined arguments are conversation killers. 2. I was an agnostic forced through the catholic school system. I took joy in arguing contrary points to extreme lengths just to see how far I could get defending them. A loss was often a win.

If you don’t like challenging your thinking, don’t read this article. If imperfect arguments drive you nuts, don’t read this article.

Cue 2015. Twitter is full of discussions of #ponzidemia and the unsustainability of academia. The ‘anointed’ professors get money, often for stuff they’re not best qualified for; track record is king. Junior academics are on the breadline, they spend all their lives submitting proposals, only to have all or almost all of them rated highly and rejected. Sometimes…

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