“Overzealous business types”?

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The University of Copenhagen and its problematic dismissal of notable scientist Hans Thybo have now landed in an editorial of Nature: “Corporate culture spreads to Scandinavia“. Their concluding claim is that “the threat is the colonization of universities by overzealous business types” (against academic freedom).

Interestingly, though the majority of the university board members is required by law to be from outside the university (not necessarily business), the university management has usually an academic background. And this is also the case for the management around Hans Thybo:

  1. The head of department for Hans Thybo is Claus Beier, see “Hans Thybos institutleder om fyringssagen“. Beier is a PhD and a professor with a long series of publications in climate change as can be studied on Google Scholar.
  2. Dean is John Renner Hansen, see “KU spildte ½ million på konsulentundersøgelse af Thybo for misbrug af forskningsmidler“. He is also researcher and claims to have “Approximately 600 publications in international refereed journals”
  3. Head of the university is Ralf Hemmingsen that I know as a notable researcher in psychiatry.

I am not convinced by the arguments in the Nature editorial which sets up “business types” against academics. I think that the case should rather be seen against the background of the case with Milena Penkowa and another story around the possible abuse of research funds on the Copenhagen University Hospital, see “Ny sag om fusk med penge til forskning“.

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