Thursday, 10 March 2016

Why are modern day scientists so willing - and indeed eager - to take on senior administrative/ managerial roles?

Because they are not real scientists - or, at best, no longer real scientists - but merely successful bureaucrats of research.

No real scientist, who was primarily motivated by the desire to learn and speak the truth about whatever is their 'problem' - wold give this up to join the dishonest world of hype, spin and outright lies entailed by senior administrative/ managerial roles in modern institutions.


David said...

Haha How refreshingly honest Bruce. I bet the senior managers at your workplace must run to hide or cross the street when they see you coming. This kind of dishonesty (amongst institutional bureaucrats who have betrayed what should be the primary modus operandi of their professional role) is normally understood at a deeper personal level by those complicit and they are usually shame faced when confronted about it, or cover it with anger and counter-attack, self-deceit's (If I didn't do it someone else would anyway? Im just being pragmatic, realistic, etc.) or simply avoid the force of truth that surrounds those who expose falsehood in others. I doubt I will progress far in my own 'career' in this mortal life because I will not bend my knee with sycophantism necessary to scurry up the institutional ladders, kissing asses and defiling myself and the greater good of what is more important along the way. In fact, those are exactly the uncompromising traits that people naturally and spontaneously 'respect' in a leader but rarely are such qualities seen and rarely still is integrity of character wielded with strength, justice, fairness and the pursuit of transcendental ideals. The rottenness of this kind of weak institutional pandering and personal financial nest-making really is pathetic and disgusting but *that* is the only route for *career progress* generally available in most workplaces nowadays.

My senior manager is Heavenly father and his representative on Earth, Jesus Christ. But even if you are not a Christian, 'progress' is only possible in any disciple, science, engineering, the arts, or anything really, by service to a transcendental ideal or set of ideals. Exclusive Self-service corrupts. Always. It's just a fact of life that can be observed even by stalwart supporters of secularism. And if they can't see that and figure out some valuable conclusions then their situation really is a sorrowful one indeed because they are not learning from experience.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Science specifically, and academic scholarship in general, are and always have been very 'elite' activities - in the sense of being pursued by a tiny minority. The actual numbers of such persons have inflated by approximately twenty-fifty-fold over the past century (depending on the subject); and almost all of the extra 98 out of a hundred are *not* the real thing - but they now make up a massive and unassailable majority within the various professions. So, there is no realistic prospect for positive change - and the 'real' science and scholarship has become a amateur, and mostly 'underground' activity - as they always were, as implied by the 17th century phrase 'invisible college' to describe the small groups in personal communication who are genuinely working cooperatively on a given problem.

David said...

"The definition of strength is that it is the ability of the individual to express and have faith in the most valued qualities of its nature. If the individual can lose sight of such qualities, or knowingly resign responsibility for them, then this would be a mark of insufficient strength in that individual... Another way of drawing attention to the significance of strength is to realise that, if we believe that we possess a particular valuable quality, but discover that a situation arises in which we lose it, then that quality was never properly possessed by us. In other words, we only properly possess qualities of character when they are so embedded in our nature that they can never be lost."

Arkle says it far better than I can, but in effect we are seeing the revealing of true character and motivation, and it's inherent lack of strength, when there is a drift from what should be core profesional values in managers ie the pursuit of truth in science and a dedication to helping the sick and physically or mentally ill in Medicine above personal gain and careerism.

David said...

On a complete aside. Thank you so much for introducing me to the work of William Arkle. I have been reading his work quite intensively recently and it makes so much good sense, put clearly and simply, that I am astonished at some level that not many others seem to have noticed what he has noticed. In all my years of reading fairly widely about philosophy or about other religious traditions that I feel a personal affinity towards, such as Buddhism, I have never come across anything so satisfactory and able to 'connect the dots' about spiritual themes or topics I had not perceived as potentially locking together like a jig-saw puzzle. I suppose I had not been ready for it before, and only now once the other elementary 'lessons' have been completed can I progress to more challenging materials. I will need to read and re-read and spend a lot of time thinking about the implications of his work, but for now, I can feel a sense of 'growth' and a tranquil peace that accompanies it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@David, I'm delighted that you too have found Arkle to be so helpful. For me, he partly clarifies and partly fills in some important gaps in my understanding of the basic organization of reality.

His writing also - almost always - fills me with a strong and positive kind of encouragement.

I suppose I will never stop kicking myself that I failed to speak with the man himself when I had so many opportunities handed me on a plate!

Just two nights ago, I had a 'mythic' dream about visiting his house, speaking with his wife (who I saw around more often than Bill - because she was horsey and my sister kept a pony in the field next door - indeed she knew Arkle's daughter somewhat), seeing his pictures - and eventually (I think in a second dream) meeting-up with the man himself. Very enjoyable!