Monthly Archives: October 2014

A note on academic hazing in Portugal

Hazing is abuse and bullying

Hazing is abuse and bullying! Praxe é abuso!

This morning I woke up to an opinion piece, by the writer Teolinda Gersão, in the Portuguese newspaper “Público”. This piece was about academic hazing among university students in Portugal. I have been living out of Portugal since 2000 but my network of friends and colleagues – plus what I get from the media – keep me more or less informed about how things work (or don’t work). Last year the whole country was taken aback  by the death of  6 university students while undergoing some sort of ritualistic hazing activities. The tragedy made the international news, including the New York Times, and has not been dealt with properly in the courts. But this post is not about that case. This post is about the “Open Letter” (Carta Aberta) that Ms Gersão wrote to the students – and especially to this year’s freshers – most of whom are now being abused on a daily basis in an attempt to try to “fit in” in their new academic environment. Ms Gersão’s piece can be seen hereIt is in Portuguese and, somehow, the link has been broken most of the day, so I am adding here the snapshot  – just in case it ‘disappears’ again.  I am also providing the text in English so that my students in the UK can learn about other university realities. 

Continue reading A note on academic hazing in Portugal

Should papers be retracted if one of the authors is a total asshole?

This post from Retraction Watch has made me laugh out loud. For a Friday evening that says a lot.
Quoting them and in total agreement… “The scientific community needs to be on its toes about who (or what) is writing the papers they publish, to help keep merde out of the literature”.

Retraction Watch

no cursing Image via Chris James.

When science writer Vito Tartamella noticed a physics paper co-authored by Stronzo Bestiale (which means “total asshole” in Italian) he did what anyone who’s written a book on surnames would do: He looked it up in the phonebook.

What he found was a lot more complicated than a funny name.

It turns out Stronzo Bestiale doesn’t exist.

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