VVD wants to put an end to the ambiguity around recognition and value

VVD wants to put an end to the ambiguity around recognition and value

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February 22 2022 † While much has been said about the Recognition and Recognition Program, the fact-based concerns of a large group of scholars have not been mitigated by compelling arguments. VVD MP Hatte van der Woude says this has to change. The Minister wants to clarify.

“I see discussion, I see fear and concerns about the quality of our science, and I want to know if these people are right,” says VVD MP Hatte van der Woude. Photo: VVD.

She has been monitoring discussions about recognition and evaluation for some time, reading articles on ScienceGuide and speaking with several administrators and scientists in recent months. Now it is clarity time, says VVD MP Hatte van der Woude in conversation with ScienceGuide – because that clarity is still missing. “It is astonishing that a relatively large group of scholars have very realistic concerns about these developments, while I hear from others that it is actually a good idea; but I hear no arguments from them based on facts. I see that the concerns of that first group are not taken away.”

She says that doesn’t mean these fears can’t be allayed. In fact, she understands very well why the recognition and recognition program was created. “The pressure on scientists has become too great and the tendency to look only at publications is making the system sick. In fact, there was not enough money. That is why in the first part of my time here I tried to contribute to investing in science, because the pressure on scientists should be reduced. …that money has come. Now we have to see how we are going to use it.”

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Recognition and appreciation touch the future of our science

Despite these investments, the debate over “recognition valuation” has not subsided. Thus, more money is not the answer, van der Wood believes. “It is very simple. When there is pressure, people are more likely to quarrel and you may choose the wrong factors. On the other hand, this tendency to push objective standards into the background and replace narratives with them is a trend initiated by the former minister on several levels. So I don’t think this discussion It will suddenly disappear if funding is increased.”

At the same time, she stresses that it is not just a discussion. “This touches the future of our science. If our international standing is threatened because we started measuring differently, I don’t think that is a good thing.” However, a lack of clarity about the exact content and expected consequences of a recognition and evaluation program hampers informed debate, and this lack of clarity has persisted for too long, says van der Wood.

Marcel Levy could be more frank about this

“I want an open, clear and transparent answer to the concerns of many scientists,” says the deputy. “I feel they are being somewhat ignored now. I have noticed that they are not getting a foothold in the discussion, because they bring up points which I find very troubling, if true.” With these concerns persisting, it appears that officials or advocates of the entire recognition and recognition program have failed to address them with convincing arguments thus far. “So I would like to have a very good explanation of why appreciation and recognition do not threaten our international position. I will put this question to the Minister shortly.”

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“I want to explain very well why appreciation and recognition do not threaten our international position.”

Marcel Levy, president of the NWO, was unable to elaborate on this discussion, although Van der Woude considered it appropriate. I noticed that he is not afraid to compare achievements, resumes, and aspirations. He is not averse to comparison and competition. The comparison has gone wrong with the best sports – and I understand that, because it shouldn’t be a competition – but, to put it too exaggeratedly, removing every incentive to aspiration from the system doesn’t feel right to me if you want to belong at the top of the flag as a country and don’t want to lose Its territory is for countries where thousands of people are fighting hard. Then things don’t go well. I found Levi someone who could be more outspoken about this, and I am glad that such a program is being rolled out under his leadership – although some of it was already in the works.”

I just want to know if these concerns are justified

Now that Van der Woude wants to put the recognition and value program on the political agenda, the question arises whether this is not an issue between employers and employees. However, the deputy in the VVD does not doubt whether this is a political issue. It is clear: “This means that the minister can go home.” The minister is responsible for the quality of higher education and science policy. Part of the future prosperity of the Netherlands depends on it. As Representatives, I monitor the Minister as executor of the coalition agreement under which we agreed to invest in science, maintain quality, and lead the way in innovation.”

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At the same time, one should not make it bigger than it is, says van der Wood. “I see a discussion, I see the fear and concern about the quality of our science, and I want to know if these people are right or not. If so, what are we going to do about it? If not, please explain well so that this discussion stops. That’s what I’m looking for I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave these people’s concerns at hand, and I suppose the proponents of the acknowledgment and recognition program have thought so well of it that they are not afraid to ask some questions and that they can answer them excellently.”

Written questions to the Minister

Van der Wood himself also needs clarity. “I get answers that don’t get along with each other,” she says. “On the one hand, I heard that magazine impact factor But they should be included partially or not at all, while another says that these quantitative indicators are still in use. This does not match. The only way to find out the truth is to ask written questions.”

These questions will be sent to the minister this week.

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