Tuesday, January 23, 2007

And this is a problem how ?

On Harvard's search for a new president:
The growing financial importance of research also could pressure Harvard to tap a scientist, something it hasn't done since 1933.

But Harvard also could go the other way -- picking a nonscientist who could rise above turf battles and reassure the rest of the school that America's oldest and richest university isn't becoming a giant science lab.

I don't get it. Being a giant science lab is a BAD thing ?


  1. The gist of the article is this:


    Taken together, the chorus of "not interested" raises questions: Is Harvard's appeal ebbing? Are other institutions not only competitive but more satisfying places to be?


    I think you could rephrase the comment you question as "is Harvard only capable of being more than a research lab?"

  2. HI, Suresh. I love this blog! Anyway, you must realize what is behind those remarks. There's always a view of science as some kind of non-creative enterprise, as cold, unpoetic even.

    This is probably related to the fact that scientists are often seen as "uncultured". Harvard, of course, is seen as the pinnacle of intellectual culture, and they want to keep it like that. It's fine to have the Nobel Prize winning scientists around (they want to seem smart, and that grant money is nice too!), but we need to keep the soul of Harvard...that's what they undoubtedly think.


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