We destroyed the soul of Higher Education, we killed the soul of Science.

February 8th, 2011

However, in a paper from 2001 I advocated just the opposite. I recall saying that the transformation in Higher Education could lead us back to its true essence. Could help us rekindle its Soul. And if a University is a ‘place of light, of liberty and of learning’ not a single transforming force would have the capacity to diminish any aspect of this spirit.

So what changed?

In my 2002 paper I highlighted 3 transforming forces: (1) corporatization (2) accountability (3) new technology. The evolutionary process by which higher education has been transformed through the ages is needed to adapt our structure to fit into a socially and technologically altered world. The knowledge centre around which higher education revolves would not be quenched by these transforming forces.

Or will it…?

Corporatizarion/marketing… new technology… accountability. Contemplating the changes in academia over the past few years, and the metamorphosis that science has undergone to enhance the pace of research, I can see (and feel) how the face of science has been influenced, how its soul has been altered. As with any reductive analysis, not a single one of these forces would indicate a capacity to cause a revolution in academic science. However, collectively the new corporate spirit in science, with paid-for services, kit-based analysis, and intellectual property demands have changed the face of science, and diluted its soul. Just how, I feel every day. The battle for the soul of science has only just begun.