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 Assunto da Mensagem: Horrifying percentages
 Mensagem Enviado: Quinta Nov 01, 2018 6:27 pm 
cientista sempre presente
cientista sempre presente

Registado: Quarta Dez 09, 2015 8:17 am
Mensagens: 838
Universidade/ Instituto: Minho
Back in 1912 a very wealthy british men jump into fame when he manage to enter a saving boat leaving behind around 1500 to die. His name was J.Bruce Ismay associated to the lowest type of cowardness. This email however is not to question if academia is helping to raise new "Bruce Ismays" as commented on the email below. The purpose of this email is just to highlight the horrifying percentages below:

Children, First Class...........Percentage drowned .........Zero
Children, Second Class......Percentage drowned..........Zero
Women, First Class............Percentage drowned ............3%
Women, Second Class.......Percentage drowned...........14%
Women, Third Class...........Percentage drowned...........54%
Children, Third Class..........Percentage drowned...........66%

From: F. Pacheco Torgal
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 6:36
Subject: The golden "dispassionate researcher" coward

David Sedlak, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Environmental Science and Technology, wrote an unfortunate editorial in which he condemns the researchers that crossed the "imaginary line that separates the dispassionate researcher from the environmental activist". On it he pointed the finger to several scientists, including Dan Carder who exposed Wolkswagen´s emissions irregularities but especially to Marc Edwards from Virginia Tech due to its actions on helping to uncover the Flint lead scandal. ... pite-risks

David Sedlak writes that activism may put at risk funding from government and even potential retaliation from vindictive politicians whose corruption is exposed. In a time of fake science, fake authorship and fake data its a pitty that David Sedlak is so much worried on researchers that cross such imaginary line almost as being an academic offense !

What is more important public safety or academia funding ? And what if a researcher conduct a study that shows that a certain corporate is doing something that can be very hazardous (like Wolkswagen´s) should he never publish it because the company can go bankrupt and the politicians that company use to give funds may retaliate his university ? This editorial is music to the hears of all the tenured cowards in academia. From now on they can use the dispassionate researcher excuse to avoid doing anything that could risk loosing funds or to avoid potential retaliation from vindictive politicians. The idea that the "dispassionate researcher" is the supreme value of academia is just bullshit. Reseachers have a duty with the truth not with dispassion, not with funding and surely not with politicians concerns. And an academia fearing retaliation from corrupt politicians is not an academia worth having.

Its worth remembering that part of the problem of Nazi German had to do with the fact that they had a lot of "dispassionate" academics Of course in some countries they were fortunate enough not to have so many of that specie. In my own country a lot of University Professors were expelled from academia during the 48 years right wing dictatorship (1926-1974) because they failed to be "dispassionate" enough. A French Professor, Benjamim Stora, recently asked how can the young generation find reference models if politicians are just a corrupt group and if academics do not want to engage with public problems ? Can too much academic dispassion be the problem ?

De: F. Pacheco Torgal
Enviado: 11 de Outubro de 2017 6:16
Assunto: Courage as an academic value of paramount importance

Although some of its books already receive several thousand citations on scholar google, and although he is more scholar material than thousands of PhD academics the fact is that Alain de Botton is not an academic. Nevertheless, probably he have done more than several thousand scholars have done in helping the transition of our society into a type 1 civilization. In a very insightful presentation he said:
“In the middle ages, in England when you met a very poor person that person would be described as an unfortunate, literally someone who has not been blessed by fortune, an unfortunate. Nowadays, particularly in the United States if you met someone in the bottom of society they may unkindly be described as a loser. There´s a real difference between an unfortunate and a loser and that shows 400 years of evolution in society”

It was not by chance that he mentioned the United States because it is in fact a country addicted on a successful narrative. A country in which at least in electoral terms literally "the winner takes it all". A country whose academia has indeed achieved a lot of successes, Nobel prizes not being one of those because so far US does not even get to enter the Top 10, US have won 1.1 Nobel prizes/million of population ranking below Switzerland and Sweden that have 3,1, Denmark 2,8, Norway 2,5, Austria 2,4, UK 1.9, Ireland 1.7, Israel 1.4, Germany and Hungary 1.3 and Netherlands that has 1.2. Still a place in which US ranks the first is in the number of retracted papers due to falsification/fabrication of data. According to Retraction Watch US has more of those trash papers than the number of similar papers with affiliation of China, Japan, Germany and UK combined. But probably the worst failure of US academia is the failure to enlighten at least the US citizens that received a bachelor degree about the danger of a creating an extremely unequal society. US academia was not even able to show how absurd is the fact that a country of the first world has its rules on gun control dictated by a gun association. Back in the old days it was some how much more simpler to carry on such message. Now it is much more difficult because IA based platforms find what consumers want to hear/read in order to deliver exactly the news they want to her/read. No surprise then that almost 75% of US Americans get their news from Facebook, where the most popular source is the xenophobic, misogynist, alt-right Breitbart.

Although tenure has come as a way to defend the freedom of ideas the truth is that academia is full of tenured cowards. Fortunately, where there´s a tenured coward there´s also a courageous one and back in 1967, the year I was born, Noam Chomsky was courageous enough to author an essay entitled “The responsibility of Intellectuals in which he attacked those that were subservient to US Government involved in the Vietnam war, special the social scientists like the historian Arthur Schlesinger. Obviously today it is much more different to be a courageous tenure academic in the universities of Western countries or to be on in China where they say that scientists who falsified data can even face dead penalty and that gives us some important clues about what should be the business of tenured academics in the universities of Western countries. They should have the courage to help the transition of the society where are in towards a type 1 civilization. They should have the courage to stop politicians to shrink universities budget almost into zero. They should have the courage to stop politicians to try to turn academics into sheep like Mr Trump is been trying to do in US. They should have the courage to stand against the unethical research agendas of transnational corporate interests. ... and-fossil

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