Drinks anyone?

For those outside Europe that think that there is one European Social Model: there's not. According to the Economist they got champagne, grappa, aquavit and beer. Germany and France have the champagne: strict labour laws and general unemployment benefits. The Mediterranean countries have the grappa model: low benefits but strict labour regulations. The aquavit model is applied in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands. These states have a Protestant work ethic. They will help you find a job, but you must work if you are able to. While the benefits are generous, job…Read more …

Imagining Academic Job Markets

Daniel Nexon gives some useful tips for those of you on the academic job market. Although he knows you’re gonna ignore his advice, it is worth a read. I liked this one:Do not start to build an imaginary life for yourself at Big Research University, Medium-Size State U, Small Liberal Arts College, Tiny Remedial Institute, or whatever. This advice applies even once you have gotten an interview. I recommend not looking at real estate websites, finding out every last detail about the area the institution is located, or doing anything of this sort.…Read more …

After iPod, iTunes, iPod nano….there is iBridge

I just received a message that the Kauffman foundation just announced a new product: iBridge. Nothing to do with MP3’s this time. It’s not even an Apple product. It is an application designed to ease the transaction burden on university technology transfer offices and it encourage more open and efficient access to research by academics and other interested parties. Carl J. Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation explains it like this:"Universities are tremendous wellsprings of knowledge. The iBridge program encourages widespread access to that valuable information, linking researchers with interested parties,…Read more …

White Australia Policy: the story continues

The past months Australia has witnessed an interesting example of the tension between academic freedom and freedom of speech versus the principle of non-discrimination. Andrew Fraser, Associate Professor in the Department of Public Law at Macquarie University in Sydney stirred up a debate on the re-introduction of the White Australia Policy through radio and TV appearances a couple of weeks ago. This time however he is going through the academic channels to get his ideas across.His paper was accepted by the Deakin University Law Review after being peer reviewed. But, after a threat…Read more …

Global Cosmopolis?

The past days, Singapore seems to be under the spell of Global Entrepolis @ Singapore, a gathering of entrepreneurs, technopreneurs and the ‘venture capital community’. Here, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong outlined a strategy to power Singapore's economic growth through innovation. The strategy is to enlarge Singapore's economic space through free trade agreements, education, and research and development. "Some people believe in the old adage, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. Here in Singapore, our belief is 'innovate or vegetate'. We break the old mould when faced with a different situation and…Read more …

Another Blog

Why another blog? Paradoxically I got the idea after reading Ivan Tribble’s column in the Chronicle of Higher Education and his recent follow up as a reaction to the critique of the whole ‘blogger community’. According to Tribble - whoever that may be - a blog easily becomes a therapeutic outlet: “Worst of all, for professional academics, it’s a publishing medium with no vetting process, no review board, and no editor