Forbidden Research in Academia

Are there research questions that should never be asked? If so, where do we draw the line between what questions are allowed to be asked, and what questions are forbidden? Who among us can draw that line? And what are the consequences for those academics daring to ask the “wrong” questions? Last year, Stephane M.Continue reading “Forbidden Research in Academia”

Five Academic Writing Hacks

It is not absolutely necessary for you to be a good writer to get your manuscripts published—indeed, economists are living proof of this claim. Poor writing can be buried deep beneath statistical brilliance and the insight it delivers. But at the same time, good writing will never, ever hurt your chances of success, no matterContinue reading “Five Academic Writing Hacks”

The Tyranny of Recorded Lectures

When I was an undergraduate student around the turn of the century, lectures were very different compared to what they look like today. For starters, students actually showed up religiously and took extensive hand-written notes. I still have notebooks full of lecture material and I confess to looking at them to this day when IContinue reading “The Tyranny of Recorded Lectures”

Why Academics Work Much Longer Hours Than They Think

Work is normally felt as a burden. For starters, it is coercive. In exchange for a wage, you are signing away your autonomy and giving the employer some (limited) control over your behaviors. From a certain point of view, you are sacrificing your freedom for money, and that can be a hard pill for manyContinue reading “Why Academics Work Much Longer Hours Than They Think”

A Story of Power and Abuse against a PhD Student

Editor’s Note: The author of this article wishes to remain anonymous, for reasons that will become obvious when you read it. It never occurred to me that I would have to speak out against my PhD advisor because I always thought that these regular tensions are just part of the journey. However, every day thatContinue reading “A Story of Power and Abuse against a PhD Student”

Jordan Peterson’s Beyond Order: A review for his critics

I suspect that most of Jordan Peterson’s critics have not read his books. Their judgments are formed either by what other people have said second-hand about Peterson or by their own incomplete and fragmented understanding of his wider oeuvre. Whilst his many supporters will be, no doubt, excited about his newest book, Beyond Order, hisContinue reading “Jordan Peterson’s Beyond Order: A review for his critics”

Is Genius Discouraged in Academia?

We all know that peer review filters out weak studies that are either deeply flawed or make no new contribution to knowledge. In this sense, peer review can be said to “work” as intended. As a journal editor, I frequently desk reject papers that are methodologically unsound or, more likely, that just regurgitate what weContinue reading “Is Genius Discouraged in Academia?”

Emotions in Academia, Part 5: Fear

“We exploit the intellectual demands of our job to smother our negative thoughts that so easily bubble up from the recesses of our mind.” In this last instalment of this series on “Emotions in Academia,” I focus on my own arch nemesis: fear, or anxiety. A little bit of fear is a good thing becauseContinue reading “Emotions in Academia, Part 5: Fear”

Emotions in Academia, Part 4: Sadness

Academics strike me as generally sad people. I don’t know if academia makes us sad, or if sad people self-select into academia. Probably both explanations are correct. I just get the feeling, when talking to my fellow academics, that beneath the confident and poised façade is an insecure and unhappy person. I’m generalizing, of course.Continue reading “Emotions in Academia, Part 4: Sadness”

Emotions in Academia, Part 3: Anger

Rage. Anger. Fury. These are emotions that we do not talk about very openly with one another. It’s almost like there is a stigma attached to anger, and that we should feel shameful about it. But just as we are trying hard to reverse the stigma of talking openly about, say, depression, I think weContinue reading “Emotions in Academia, Part 3: Anger”