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Slide dell'intervento di Giuseppe De Nicolao al convegno “Academic Freedom Today - Insights from Law, Philosophy, and Institutional Practice”, 6-7 dicembre 2018, Libera Università di Bolzano, https://academicfreedom.events.unibz.it/
State-fostered immaturity? Kant, Galileo and the Grand Evaluator
In 2017, the president of Anvur, the Italian agency for research evaluation, was asked if bibliometrics-based research evaluation could discourage innovative research. The answer was disconcerting, yet revealing: a scientific genius “will be rewarded twenty years from now, when he will become the most famous scientist in the world. In the meantime, he should be grateful that he maintained his academic position without being burnt alive. Frankly speaking, we are not all Galilei and Newton”. No less worrying is the creeping effect of research evaluation on the public use of reason by academics. Linking administrative actions such as hiring, career, funding and wages to the outcomes of centralized research evaluation can subtly impair academic freedom in fields such as health, environment, economics, education and research policy. These issues will be illustrated through the analysis of methods, outcomes and unintended effects of research evaluations run by Anvur.