On highly connected but dysfunctional academics (or The downsides of networking)

Very interesting perspective on scientific networking. Since I see the problems my supervisor has to find time for truly scientific work, I cannot but agree with Joern Fischer’s message.

Ideas for Sustainability

By Joern Fischer

As researchers, we live in a highly connected world. Many colleagues work on things that are related somehow to what we do. Conventional wisdom has it that we ought to keep up with Table of Contents, with conferences, and with funding calls, so that we know what’s going on elsewhere. Moreover, early career researchers are told frequently about the importance of “networking”. You’ve got to know who-is-who and who-does-what to effectively position yourself for a research career. To be part of the next “big thing”, you have to be known to those people centrally involved in that “big thing” (e.g. a new funding call, or some other kind of research collaboration).

Through this kind of logic, powerful research networks have formed around many issues. So, for example, there are scholars interested in “resilience stuff”, others interested in “pollination stuff”, others interested in “Amazon stuff”, and yet others…

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