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Magnus Bremmer: The absent humanist can revitalize our unimaginative idéklimatet

”It strikes me how terribly absent (but long awaited) many historians, researchers and scientists in the public debate”, writes Johan Croneman in a chronicle (

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Magnus Bremmer: The absent humanist can revitalize our unimaginative idéklimatet

”It strikes me how terribly absent (but long awaited) many historians, researchers and scientists in the public debate”, writes Johan Croneman in a chronicle ( DN 5/3). There are lot of scientist in the box, " he says – but where are all the others? Archaeologists, historians, critics, philosophers, architects, linguists?

Inger Enkvist makes a similar point when she in SvD (7/3) points out the lack of intellectual, knowledge-based discussions with researchers in the public service.

After working in the borderland between journalism and research for over a decade, I can't other than recognize me. Even a good bit beyond samhällsdebattens spotlight is the impression that particular humanioraforskaren is becoming increasingly invisible. This applies not only to tv and radio, this also applies to kultursidor, sakprosautgivning and local scensamtal.

: Why are humanities researchers so rare in the Swedish public sphere?

Synlighetsproblemet, of course, scientists generally, but it is not difficult to see that humanioraforskarens situation is more complicated. And then it is not just about today's medielogik has a special taste for the overconfident scientist, and mytdödande scientists.

basically, it is about humanistic knowledge are valued differently than other academic knowledge. Even when the Swedish Radio last week invited to an exciting, perspektivrikt conversations about science and journalism, it was striking that the humanities had never been given a serious thought. When it talks about the research communication is almost always from a scientific ”findings”-logic, even in the universities.

Humanioraforskaren also compete in a much higher degree than other researchers with other kinds of experts – journalists, critics, writers. A battle on the space, they as a rule lose in the public sphere today. Lotta Olsson surnade to substantially the other day in a comment ( DN 9/3) about how litteraturprogrammet Babylon debated barnlitteraturens alleged politicisation, but to invite a single barnlitteraturforskare.

and the reporters I often meet a mutual frustration over communication. Journalists talking about scientists who do not dare to take off their specialistsrevir and reasoning in freely in the light of their knowledge. And then rather decline. Researchers testify that in particular, journalists in the broadcast media has become significantly worse in the to separate the interviews from the research work. In the pursuit of formulations miss the to give fair space and kredd for the often unique, hard work knowledge the researcher to share.

Nothing is, of course, easier in this discussion than to place responsibility on the individual. It is also the most common arguments. Researchers must become better at communicating! Journalists need to become better at ”vacuuming universities”, which Croneman puts it, instead of relying on their forskarstammisar.

I think we must lift our eyes. It is obvious that much of the situation depends on the radical reshaping that the media landscape has been exposed. It has an impact on both the perception of knowledge, how knowledge is disseminated, as well as increased competition for space. It is a revolution in communication, the media still struggling to survive, but also the academic community had difficulties to relate to.

on how the cuts in the media industry in so high degree allowed to affect the conditions for the right culture - and vetenskapsjournalistiken. Serious journalistic work is resource-intensive. And the resources have, in many places, however, an unsustainable level on editorial boards. On kultursidor debated critique crisis with unerring regularity, but who is today a lance for an educational kulturjournalistik worthy of the name?

There is no intrinsic value for a kulturredaktion to make a place for researchers, but today, the possibilities are extremely limited, to actually investigate the academic terrain, or get the time to help those who can most about a topic to formulate it the best.

In the academic world and especially in the humanioran on the other hand, often put the question on the so-called third task – the mission to spread knowledge to the general public, in addition to education and research – at the individual researcher's lap.

the Hill is, of course, is monumental for the researchers who do not already have natural entrances to the public. Then communication support in the form of creative writing, media training and digital channel strategies, in many cases, the most a sort of artificial respiration.

universitetsledningar, research funders and other heavy players in the higher education community to seriously realize that you have a folkbildningsmandat, a kind of public service responsibility to spread the knowledge. Right now, we need it more than ever.

the Universities have had a tendency to communicate in competition with each other. Now, more of the state-owned means of transport to go to also build common infrastructure for the independent dissemination of knowledge to the entire public. There must be more and more editorial environments where academic knowledge (the editors) and kunskapsproducenter (researchers) together may help to highlight the unique knowledge to a wide public.

Such environments is not only a means to a goal. They are also nurseries and a showcase to the broader public, much like the richness of the rituals once was. A place where researchers can practice and demonstrate their abilities to reach out.

can be boiled down to the need to drive forward a culture change. To instill the belief that humanistic knowledge is really needed outside of the campus, even in the case where no secure answer can be given. It is, after all, is to make the world more understandable. Enough so important at a time who are struggling so to understand itself.

Read more: ”Why choose Babylon ignorance?”

Read more: ”unleash the researchers in the debate.”

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