terça-feira, 1 de julho de 2014


Teresa Marques, uma filósofa de Lisboa que em breve emigrará para Barcelona (e que eu não conheço), pôs a circular esta informação na Internet, através do Facebook:

""This will be hard to understand by English speaking academics, but it's an important sign that all should be aware of (and possibly worry about), specially in Europe.

(1) The European Science Foundation has been, in their own words, "focusing on the responsible winding down of its traditional research instruments and the transfer of policy activities to Science Europe." Instead, ESF will now be dedicated to "science management" and to "quality peer review". It is unclear, from their site, whether it will continue to exist after 2015.

(2) Since Miguel Seabra took office at FCT, there were drastic cuts to the number of PhD grants, post-doctoral fellowships, and 5 year research contracts (in spite of, allegedly, the funds available at FCT being the same or having increased). In the humanities, the cuts in number of grants and fellowships were around 65%. This overturns a continued investment in science and research in Portugal in the past 20 years (or more), that had brought the number of Phd's in Portugal close to that of Germany, and drastically increased the number of Portuguese international publications, number of citations and patents. As an illustration, there were *5* grants for PhDs in philosophy in the *whole country*. Miguel Seabra is the new president of Science Europe, a distinct organization that seems to be dedicated to lobbying for science in the European Union (you can check their website online).

(3) Now, it's the turn of the research centres, units and groups to be evaluated by FCT, and for the new 'turn in funding policies' to affect research centres as a whole. Seabra, on his way out, got ESF to do the review of the national research institutions. The results, and the new policies employed, are appalling. For instance, the Centre for Nuclear Physics of the University of Lisbon will have no funding *at all*. The Philosophy Centre of the University of Lisbon, CFUL, was evaluated as 'good' but will only receive a base funding of 5000 euros per year. (unless our rebuttal is successful, which we doubt given their recent attitude).

(4) CFUL, among other things, hosts the research group LanCog, and publishes Disputatio. That amount of money can't keep the journal running, let alone maintain the basic infrastructure of the Centre. I quickly checked our recent publications from 2013, and we have over 60 recent or forthcoming publications, of which nearly 30 are in 'A' journals (the remaining include also articles in volumes edited with OUP or Springer). As far as I know, this is a unique result in the whole country and in the history of philosophy in Portugal (not just the number, but also the venues where we are publishing). The classification of 'good' with this ridiculous funding won't allow us to get new PhD students or to support adequately postdocs and senior researchers, or to maintain any normal activity.

(5) These are the reviewers in the Humanities panel that reviewed CFUL and the remaining Philosophy research institutions in Portugal (all this information is on FCT's website). It does not take much effort to verify that there are members of CFUL that have more and better publications in philosophy than the few philosophers on this panel (who seem to be, for the large part, people dedicated to administration and bureaucracy rather than research, and hence don't seem to offer adequate *peer review*):

Susan Bassnett, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
Nicholas Canny, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Peter Michael Cronin, Dublin City University, Ireland
Gerhard Jaritz, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Janis Jefferies, University of London, United Kingdom
Janusz Krzysztof Kozlowski, Jagellonian University, Kraków, Poland
Svend Erik Larsen, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Pasqualina Perrig-Chiello, University of Bern, Switzerland
Riccardo Pozzo, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Rome, Italy
David Robey (Chair), University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Matti Sintonen, University of Helsinki, Finland
Martin Stokhof, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ann Thomson, European University Institute, Florence, Italy
Koenraad Van Balen, KU Leuven, Belgium
Peter Weinreich, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, United Kingdom
Milena Žic Fuchs, University of Zagreb, Croatia

(6) Details about the results overall are now available in the national press, for instance here (you can use Google translate to check it):
or here:

(7) This is worrying, not just for the future of philosophy in Portugal (other Philosophy institutions in Portugal will get no funding at all, others will have virtually no funding, like CFUL, and only 3 were deemed good enough to pass on to the next stage.) This is worrying for you, European philosophers and academics, if your country's funding authorities decide to rely on ESF to review your research. This must be the plan to save ESF from extinction. So maybe you should start to worry now.

Um quarto das unidades de investigação candidatas a fundos fica sem financiamento"

4 comentários:

  1. To whom it may concern: I am the Communications Manager at Science Europe, and in the above-mentioned post there seems to be a certain degree of confusion regarding the nature and remit of Science Europe. Science Europe is the European Association of currently 52 public national Research Funding and Research Performing Organisations. Its President, Professor Miguel Seabra, has been elected by Science Europe members as their next President, and will take up this role, which is additional to his post at FCT, from September 2014. Science Europe is a research policy organisation; it does not have any review panels and does not carry out any reviews or evaluations of institutions or projects. Finally Science Europe has always stressed the need for adequate funding for research in all scientific domains at national and European level and has strongly argued against cuts to public science budgets. In particular in the case of the Humanities, its Scientific Committee has produced a series of recommendations for the strengthening of Humanities research at European level. Fort further details about the organisation I invite the readers of this blog to go to Science Europe's website: www.scienceeurope.org. Kind regards, Elena Torta

  2. Thank you for the clarification and your comment. The post will be amended in accordance.

  3. The post has now been amended. Best regards, Teresa


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