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Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics

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ESEP 15:1-5 (2016)  -  DOI:

Academic freedom and tenure: introduction

Konstantinos I. Stergiou1,2,*, Stylianos Somarakis1

1Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Aghios Kosmas, 16777 Athens, Greece
2Laboratory of Ichthyology, Department of Zoology, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, UP Box 134, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
*‑Corresponding author: ,

ABSTRACT: This Theme Section consists of 11 essays aiming to explore diverse issues related to academic freedom and tenure, presenting the views and thoughts of 15 scholars from different disciplines. Historical, legal, theoretical, philosophical, political and educational aspects of academic freedom and tenure are addressed; the decline in productivity of tenured faculty is questioned; and the effect of marketization of education on tenure policies and their implications are discussed. Overall, the essays recognize that academic freedom has been increasingly challenged in recent years and affected by factors such as increased commercialization, the constraints imposed by the ‘western way of thinking’ and neo-liberal ways of valuing, changes from a collegial to a managerial mode of organization in universities, political pressures to suppress inconvenient scientific findings, the economic crisis itself, even the current metrics of valuating research and the recent changes set by new media in disseminating ideas. We argue that today, academics can defend and promote academic freedom themselves, as has been done using various means with other aspects of academic life.

KEY WORDS: Academic freedom · Tenure · Education · Commercialization · Political pressure · Inconvenient scientific findings · Economic crisis

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Cite this article as: Stergiou KI, Somarakis S (2016) Academic freedom and tenure: introduction. Ethics Sci Environ Polit 15:1-5.

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