The controversy around the dismissal of Barbara Van Dyck from KULeuven – for her public support of an action of civil disobedience against a genetically modified potato field in May 2011 – and the arguments used to justify it, is the symptom of a deeper malaise. It reveals the restructuration of the university into a science enterprise, increasingly dependent on industrial and other outsider interests, market mechanisms, and competition. Science has come to be seen mainly as a purveyor of technological innovation and increased competitiveness on a globalized market. This shift not only restricts the choice of research topics and curricula but also threatens the quality of the knowledge
Confronted with this, we need to defend and promote ‘slow science’. Just like the ‘slow food’ movement defends qualitative food against fast food, slow science urges rethinking the current university, against the fast, competitive, benchmarked research. In this workshop we will reflect on different strategies for keeping Slow Science possible.
Download the “plea for Slow Science” by Isabelle Stengers here