Educating the children of the Mode-2 revolution


  • N. Winder


Mode-2 researchers are trained in Mode-1 institutions where there is now a striking mismatch between what they are encouraged to believe and what actually happens. We are expected to believe in the knowledge-based society, that development can be competitive and sustainable and that any university teacher must publish four papers every five years. This is the party line that every competitive university must endorse. They do this by ignoring dissident views - those of humanists marginalized by the commercial scholarship or of biologists bounced into early retirement by the academic paper chase. In the spirit of Glasnost this chapter places Mode 2 in a wider post-war context and sketches the distinction of research management from regulation. Management is responsive, regulation normative. To educate innovators is to prepare them to take risks. This is difficult in an over-regulated command economy for knowledge services. The solution is to regulate lightly and delegate managerial responsibility as far down the institutional hierarchy as possible; encouraging people to make mistakes and learn from them while weeding out those who keep making the same type of mistake again and again. The chapter closes with practical advice for managers, regulators and students trying to develop Mode-2 skills in Mode-1 contexts.