Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: And on into a whole new year

94 Responses

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  • Milly Swan,

    one of the problems with the PBRF is that it penalises young researchers for their lack of output. And if young researchers can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, why should they continue with their work? All that will end up happening is that they will abandon research for office work (as several of my friends have done) and then where will we be when the existing 'senior researchers' retire?

    The UK are doing away with their version of the PBRF after finally coming to grips with the fact that it doesn't work. We keep pressing on though...

    SIT however, was never set up to be a research institution. Generally Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics are about practical learning environments while universities are research intensive...

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Aucklandista:
    The eery Tanuki
    MILKSHAKE REVIEWS
    Wine
    Big Day Out
    Parnell Pools
    Volcanoes
    Noelle McCarthy


    To date, that is possibly my perfect website. Milkshake reviews - I KNEW the interweb had a purpose...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    one of the problems with the PBRF is that it penalises young researchers for their lack of output.

    They have made adjustment for that with the early in career status. They also recognise your PhD as a research output.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    To date, that is possibly my perfect website. Milkshake reviews - I KNEW the interweb had a purpose...

    Awww cheers Gareth, we aim to please. And we're looking for more contributors. I mean, the Wellingtonista has a team of about 15...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 726 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    __To date, that is possibly my perfect website. Milkshake reviews - I KNEW the interweb had a purpose...__

    Awww cheers Gareth, we aim to please. And we're looking for more contributors. I mean, the Wellingtonista has a team of about 15...

    Seriously - milkshake reviews! Magnificent.
    Oh, and a nice vineyard you missed up by Matakana is Brick Bay. Nice little Noel Lane glass house stretched out over the lake and a sculpture trail up through the surrounding native bush...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    But it's achieving its goal of directing funds towards institutions that are doing international quality research, and away from those that aren't.

    My point being is that it doesn't reward international research per se; only international research of high impact factor in areas where NZ can convene a panel of sufficient experience and authority. Which is plainly not the same thing. A colleague has dubbed it the medical research reward scheme. Which is interesting given that Medicine has its own funding council as well.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 723 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Oh, and a nice vineyard you missed up by Matakana is Brick Bay. Nice little Noel Lane glass house stretched out over the lake and a sculpture trail up through the surrounding native bush...

    Yeah, the crawling traffic meant that we ran out of time to get to them all before 5pm. If the man at Heron's Flight hadn't been so thorough or if there hadn't been people at Hyperion taking up the whole shed when we got there, we could have made it, but I suppose there's always a next-time!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 726 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I agree with the comment about giving Beeby his place in the New Zealand sun. Other heroes who ought be awarded naming rights would be David Lange (has anything been named after him?) and Bruce Jesson.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2288 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    Already some action on the Bruce jesson from

    Bruce Jesson prize etc.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Oscar Low,

    wow who would have thought.
    Thanks to Russell's link we now have some measure of legitimacy (intended or not) imparted by the accumulated mana of publicaddress. Streetarse has only ever been a site for artists and other interested parties so to receive feedback on that post is surprising but encouraging.
    Who knows, we may even add other "real" blog entries to our site. Alongside photos of the 'anti-social evil' that is graffiti and street art of course.

    RIP Pihema Clifford

    AK • Since Feb 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Clarke,

    So. The Herald Building is "The Shakespeare Tavern"?

    It would explain an awful lot.

    -36.76, 174.61 or thereab… • Since Nov 2006 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    A colleague has dubbed it the medical research reward scheme.

    Yes there's some truth in that. There's a multiplier applied to how much money you get. Humanities and Commerce get a multiplier of 1, Sciences get (I think) 2, and Health Sciences get... 4? It's a way of taking into account the relative cost of doing research in the fields.

    That being said, I think that's how the money is distributed to institutions, how they deal with it internally is up to them. Coming from one of the institutions with a medical school, there are less complaints here than from up the road :)

    I think those are details that need tweaking rather than an indictment on the whole idea. If the multipliers were reduced, the money distribution would be done reasonably.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    To be fair I was pleased for Otago and I know some of the people who worked very hard to get it right. The problem with PBRF is threefold IMHO.

    i) Impact factors are a poor way to judge research quality, readership and availability tend to render some researchers more "international" than others.

    ii) It completely fails to acknowledge growth or genuinely cutting edge fields.

    iii) Because the system is relative, there are no rewards for those who manage to in some cases to triple their output.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 723 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I can't comment too much, not being an academic. But (I'll comment anyway).

    1. Talking to a panel chair, he thought that the method of quality assessment was fair if not perfect. People in 'the field' tend to have a fairly good idea of which are the top journals, and which work is having the most impact. Whether that's true in other disciplines, dunno. There was a lot of confusion over the terms 'international', and 'national'. They certainly weren't about 'reach', but about quality/impact. But no, it's not an easy thing to measure.

    2. It does? Wouldn't they submit like everyone else, and if they're getting published in, I dunno, Nature, people are going to pay attention? The panels were fairly diverse, and they would bring in outside experts if they were underdone.

    3. It's a quality, not quantity assessment. I think that's a strategic call, in that the rewards should be for producing less research, but getting it right. No academic will be tripling their output, they'll be focusing on getting their best research out there and published in the right places.

    I think the problem really is, how do you conduct as assessment exercise across a country which looks at how good people's research is, and attributes money as a result? Yes, the PBRF is a bit of a game really, but who has a better system?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Kyle I'll keep the essay on this for another day suffice to say that PBRF and its cousin RAE never failed to screw the little guy and the new kids on the block. The biggest tragedy of all has been how effective it has been in undermining collegiality within and between institutions. Having held the shitty end of the stick I can tell you that it really does stink.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 723 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    That giraffe cup is basically one of my favourite things about New Zealand.

    Me, too. I'm also very fond of the hot-chip cup with the newspaper pattern.

    My cousins used to have a painting over their stairs, with an older woman enjoying a milkshake out of one of those cups. Can't remember the artist's name, curse it. On the tip of my tongue. Even met her one time. Google is not behaving much like a friend right now. But anyway. Very resonant painting, is where I was going with that.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 452 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Gah! Janice Gill! It came to me the second I hit "Post Reply".

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 452 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    It came to me the second I hit "Post Reply".

    I wonder if I could get a research grant to study that? It's amazing how well hitting "post reply" works as a spell check too but Just imagine the possibilities, press the "button" and have instant recall of all you ever knew.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4693 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    And then I read [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4384115a6479.html?source=RSSdominionpost/localnews_20080202 | this] "Usually memories are not lost - they are just misplaced," he said. "If you can find the mechanism involved in memory suppression, perhaps you can find a way around the side to retrieve those memories."
    Damn it, who put that chip in my brain?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4693 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    And then I read this "Usually memories are not lost - they are just misplaced," he said. "If you can find the mechanism involved in memory suppression, perhaps you can find a way around the side to retrieve those memories."
    Damn it, who put that chip in my brain?
    Sorry, "forgot" how to do links. (-:

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4693 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    On the subject of a graffiti...

    1. A couple of homemade posters have been stuck up around Mt Eden Village, presumedly the work of an angry citizen (plural?) who wants a zero-tolerance policy toward taggers.

    "Only an idoit [sic] would tag there [sic] own backyard," proclaims one, while the other threatens, "Taggers - we want you caught".

    They seem legit, but the poster design and language is so awful that I keep thinking that maybe it's a parody of angry citizens who don't understand that the taggers they're fighting against are part of the same community they live in.

    2. Friday's Herald had the alarming headline "Government to attack graffiti artists from all sides", making it sound like Annette King was about to lay the smack down on graffiti artists like Askew, Misery or Otis Frizzell. Crikey!

    But upon reading the article, it became obvious that the government action was going to be towards taggers, not graffiti artists. I emailed the Herald to let them know the difference.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1851 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    In respective reply:

    (1) I read the second poster as "Taggers [say] we want you [murderers] caught"...

    (2) So: Government ministers tag team wrestling?
    Holds a certain morbid fascination, I grant you.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 874 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    2. Friday's Herald had the alarming headline "Government to attack graffiti artists from all sides", making it sound like Annette King was about to lay the smack down on graffiti artists like Askew, Misery or Otis Frizzell. Crikey!

    No, judging from the story King just wants to put the load of bullshit that is the Manukau City Council (Control of Graffiti)in a brand new box. And considering King's rather unfortunate musings, who wants to bet King is going to be offering Lara Norder (say it fast) ASBO-rtion on demand?

    After all, King's Law of Common Sense sez they're never, every going to be abused here, right?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Addison,

    I've often found that the more objectionable the content of a piece of graffitti, the more objectionable the spelling and/or grammar. I once saw an "Asians go home" where the author had clearly tried about three different spellings of "Asians" during the process of writing it - it came out as something like "Asanians".

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    But upon reading the article, it became obvious that the government action was going to be towards taggers, not graffiti artists. I emailed the Herald to let them know the difference.

    The Herald are clueless. Sideswipe featured a photo of a piece that said 'Supercalifrajilisticexpelidocious' (sp?) with the caption "Nice Tag". Sorry Ana but that was a 'piece', not a 'tag'.

    FYI - tags are those scribbles you see on wall everywhere, usually monocolour. A 'piece' is something that requires a lot more effort. Taggers are lame Rs fools, one step below throw ups.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

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