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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Computer Scientist Advocates Deceleration of Science

A treatise from a German foundation advocating the deceleration of the pursuit of science in higher education has been translated into English by NJIT Professor James Geller.   “How Science Can Ensure Integrity and Quality: A Thesis In Favor of a Deceleration of Science” http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/2012/JF/Feat/gell.htm  is featured in the current issue of Academe, a publication of the American Association of University Professors.   The original statement in German was signed by 21 German and Austrian professors and scientific administrators.

“I liked the article and felt it should be more widely disseminated because I think we all need to take a step back and slow down if we want to see better scientific research,” said Geller.   “Today people want to see fast results.  But real research is rooted in a process in which results have to be discussed and reproduced before they can be accepted as new knowledge. This process should be under the purview of doubt, allowing self-reflection.”

Geller’s research focuses on medical terminologies and the semantic web. He has published more than 145 research papers and was designated NJIT Master Teacher in 2005.  In 2011 he received the NJIT Excellence in Teaching Award for Excellence in Professional Development, for introducing medical informatics as a course subject. He teaches in the department of computer science in the NJIT College of Computing Sciences.

The translated article suggests seven “safeguards” to uphold the integrity and quality of science.   Those suggestions follow.

• Contain the deluge of publications.     

• Recognize that fundamental research requires a continuous funding stream.

• Put more weight on evaluation of the content of scientific achievements.

• Condemn strategic authorship.

• Require researchers to write their own grant proposals.

• Make the data-collection process transparent.

• Recognize that good research takes time.

The original document was funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation and published under the title “Wie die Wissenschaft Integrität und Qualität sichern kann.” (Translated with permission.) The German text and the list of signatories are available online at http://www.bosch-stiftung.de/content/language1/downloads/Thesenpapier_BWG.pdf.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.