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The myth of liberty

Missing the halcyon days? But the past was no better

The way in which academic careers follow a prescribed path has become such a hot topic that it fills conference schedules and many an hour in the meeting room. As science advances and research becomes ever more international, standards and rules multiply.

As a result, researchers are confronted with teaching criteria, impact measurements, proposal guidelines and citation rates—and many feel increasingly constricted. In this issue (see Related Article), Per Flensburg, a professor at Sweden’s University West, talks about becoming a professor without publications. Although his experience is fascinating, he also recognises that he may be a dying breed. The researcher of the future will have to measure up—against clearly defined, quantifiable goals.

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