YOUTHFUL SCIENCE, USEFUL SCIENCE: What Might the Next Generation of Researchers Bring to Science and Society If Adequately Supported?

14. 12. 2017
10:00-16:00, Czech Academy of Sciences, Národní 3, Prague 1

The Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Czech Association of Doctoral Students invite you to attend the conference

Quality education and support of the next generation of highly skilled professionals are current policy priorities. What does this mean, however, in terms of the concrete measures and institutional arrangements that affect doctoral students and young researchers? How should their work be appropriately valued and evaluated in order for them to substantially contribute to research, innovation and society in general? What is the best approach to steering and supporting sustainable career pathways and mobilities?

The conference will feature invited keynotes by Sarah de Rijcke (University of Leiden) on the (e)valuation of research and by Ruth Müller (Technical University Munich) on the academic careers of young researchers, followed by panel debates on these topics with the aim of contextualising international developments, experiences and inspirations in and for the Czech Republic.

Doctoral students and young researchers are particularly welcome to attend.

The event is organised by the ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ group supported under Strategy AV 21.

The event will be held in English without translation. Participation is free but space is limited. To book your place email by no later than 7 December.


9:30–10:00 Registration

10:00 Welcome

10:10–12:10 Responsible Research Evaluation: The Leiden Manifesto and Its Aftermath

Keynote by Sarah de Rijcke followed by a panel debate

12:10–13:00 lunch and networking

13:00–15:00 Science, Fast and Slow: Performance Metrics and the Acceleration of Academic Careers

Keynote by Ruth Müller followed by a panel debate


Responsible Research Evaluation: The Leiden Manifesto and Its Aftermath

Sarah de Rijcke

New forms of evaluation are reconfiguring science in ways we are only beginning to understand. This keynote will address how public sector transformations are currently introducing highly particular notions of ‘good’ performance and uses of evaluative metrics in academic settings. In the talk, I will suggest ways to think more creatively and responsibly about the affordances of evaluation and indicators. For this purpose, I will start from the Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics and its effects on concrete research policy practices. The Leiden Manifesto represents a serious public-face interpretation of the technical area of performance metrics. It addresses a broad international audience tasked with assessing research performance, with the ultimate goal of assuring responsible metrics. In the talk, I will unpack the term ‘responsibility’ in ‘responsible metrics’ and argue how the term acts as a political and ethical referent in promoting social, sensible and conscientious evaluation and metrics – opening up ways of conceptualising and doing evaluation and metrics that have not yet been considered or are currently being foreclosed.

Sarah de Rijcke is Associate Professor and Deputy Director at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University. In Leiden she leads a research group that analyses academic evaluation processes, changing research cultures, knowledge infrastructures, and the roles of research in and for society.

Science, Fast and Slow: Performance Metrics and the Acceleration of Academic Careers

Ruth Müller

In recent years, the temporalities of academic work have undergone significant transformations. One key feature of these changes is a perceived acceleration of working pace. While this phenomenon is widely acknowledged in the scholarship about the transforming university, to date there are only a few studies investigating its empirical details. Building on qualitative interviews with postdoctoral researchers in the life sciences in Austria, this talk discusses how researchers who inhabit relatively fragile institutional positions experience the temporalities of their work and career practices: why, to what end, and in what ways are they speeding up? I will discuss how an emergent ‘impact-per-time’ paradigm has come to significantly structure young life-scientists’ decision-making practices about which kinds of projects to pursue and how to organise their work. Further, I will show how a focus on fast-paced knowledge production and quantifiable forms of output limits which kinds of lives appear to be possible in science and for whom. While the study focuses on the life sciences, we will discuss how the findings might be informative also for understanding similar transformation processes in other academic disciplines.

Ruth Müller is Assistant Professor for Science & Technology Policy at the Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS) at the TU München. She is a researcher in the interdisciplinary field of Science & Technology Studies (STS), with a background in molecular biology (MSc) and sociology (PhD). Her work explores the interactions between science & technology policy, institutional values, and academic knowledge production, as well as the sociology and epistemology of the life sciences.

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