“This last man standing is Dr. Nakamoto” writes Caitlin Logan and certain memories make me shiver. I want to extend my hand and to stand firmly besides Dr. Nakamoto. For his story has not been told yet, beyond what Caitlin brings to light today. I wish to add two details, here.
Merope Tsimilli-Michael, after giving a talk at a conference in honor of George Papageorgiou, where John Allen also participated, asked his opinion on her presentation. In turn, John introduced me to Merope a few months later, while in Mexico (through Skype). I read with interest what she and Pierre Haldimann had to say.
For more than twenty years we have witnessed worrying changes in science… The first symptom was that a number of publications contained serious flaws… the frequency of low quality publications has steadily increased.
My commentary below was prompted by this letter published earlier today by Liz Morrish in the Times Higher Education. Since yesterday there has been a concerted effort by UCU and the Guardian to expose the crude exploitation of half of the academic staff in Universities in the UK. Adding to the insult, managers ‘disappear’ through restructuring permanent positions. The issue is whether Professors should be fired when they do not produce the outputs requested by their ‘bosses’ (sic). (more…)
I noticed visits to this blog from DailyNous “Serious Cuts and Stark Choices at Aberdeen“. I asked whether the former Science & Engineering Vice Principal at Queen Mary, Jeremy Kilburn, was repeating one of his destructive assaults against colleagues? At Queen Mary he convinced academics to strike; an act he repeated at the University of Aberdeen. Unfortunately, according to the BBC, it looks like Kilburn continues to call for academic sackings. I wish he fails and faces instead the sack himself. (more…)
Simon Gaskell has announced with an email to all staff his retirement. This is good news for the College, although it will be challenging to find a successor to reverse such decline witnessed in the past few years. Together with the departures of Matthew Evans and Jeremy Kilburn, none of the culprits of the destruction of the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences remains in post. As I put it to Gaskell in November 2011:
If you need background to this dispute read first part I. For my general commentary on the case see ‘Academic position, age discrimination and social justice‘. If you would like to know how Queen Mary failed to follow its own Redeployment Procedure when dismissing Babis see part II. Here, I comment on three (of the four) final (summary) points in the Employment Appeal Tribunal Judgment (paragraphs 34-36). (more…)
“The Tribunal’s Decision on the Application for Reconsideration
21. The Claimant applied for a review. The ET refused that application because there was no reasonable prospect of the decision being varied or revoked. The application had been based on a “new finding of fact” in the decision of a different ET in a different case. The ET held that the new evidence would not probably have had an important influence on the outcome. That is not challenged on this appeal.”
Reading the above one may ask: what was the “new finding of fact”? And how come the ET [Employment Tribunal] held that the new evidence would not probably have had an important influence on the outcome? I pause to consider this issue. It relates to the failure of QMUL to enact its redeployment procedure as required by employment law in a redundancy situation. (more…)