Quackery and managerialism endanger a noble enterprise

Prof. David Colquhoun

Thursday, July 7 2011 at 7:30PM

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35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Prof. David Colquhoun

What's the talk about?

The culture of managerialism that has engulfed universities has nit only disenfranchised academics but it has led to the sort of abandonment of academic values that are manifested in the publish--or-perish mentality, the "impact agenda",  the substitution of PR for genuine public engagement  and the awarding of degrees in what can only de described as voodoo and black magic.
 A huge industry has grown up that has the aim of selling to a gullible public, medicines that don't work. Their sales method are very much like those of the pharmaceutical industry at its worst, but at least some of the latter's products work. .  Some universities still offer "BSc (hons)" degrees in this sort of quackery, though many have stopped when what is actually taught on the degrees has been revealed with the help of the Freedom of Information act.  The fact that such degrees have been accredited and validated by the university and by the QAA shows the utter uselessness if these procedures as a guarantee of quality.  That sort of doublethink endangers science as a whole.  It is that sort of doublethink which allows Research Councils to insist on statements about the impact of your research before it has even begun.. That is every bit as much government-sponsored lying as the offering of degrees in homeopathy.