Summary and context
The summer was filled with press coverage of problems in the Max Planck Society (MPG). Come autumn and these issues had no impact on how politicians perceive the MPG: Yesterday, in the German Bundestag, the education and research minister, Anja Karliczek, proposed a budget for 2019 that showed an added 50 mill EUR to MPG’s budget without any quality check. It appears that the bullying cases that were extensively covered by the German and international press were dismissed as anomalies in an otherwise excellent research organization. What did the press do wrong that their coverage changed nothing? Here I offer an analysis.
Continue reading “Journalists have the responsibility to put stories within a political context”
Oftentimes I am asked for 500-word explanations of political issues. I’d rather use 500 words to explain why I won’t do it. Continue reading “Complexity isn’t a vice!”
Germany’s Excellence Strategy programs
Over the last months, the GWK (the Joint Research Conference) – an agency in which the federal government and the state governments (die Länder) make decisions on federal research programs – worked on launching the Excellence Strategy meant to boost Germany’s research profile. The programs need to be approved by Angela Merkel’s cabinet on June 16th. Today, a debate on this topic will take place in the German Lower House of Representatives (Bundestag). Continue reading “Are “excellence”-based funding schemes really working?”