There’s a new book out called Tech Transfer, written by “Daniel S. Greenberg, … a leading science journalist with a deep knowledge of the academic world and science policy. He edited the news section of Science magazine for many years and then a newsletter, Science and Government Report.” He regarded himself as reporting on a lot of waste and fraud. O dear.
Well we don’t want to be tarred with that brush. Further, there is no way I’m going to take on the topic of waste and fraud here today! So I’m just going to give you some of the summary in the NY Times and then see if I can get the book on Kindle.
The best scene in this hilarious first novel is a meeting of the trustees of Kershaw University, an elite research university only 200 years younger than Harvard. The trustees have to select a new president. They listen with mounting dismay as the professional headhunter in charge of the search reads out the polished résumés of each candidate, but notes in each case the fatal flaws revealed by background checks, ranging from spousal abuse to bestiality and, even more fatal, plagiarism…..
As the trustees hasten to leave for the airport, they agree on a nonentity, Mark Winner, an economics professor with a thin résumé and a clean rap sheet.
… When Dr. Winner assumes the presidency of Kershaw University, he learns the folly of challenging the tenured faculty on any of their sacrosanct, non-negotiable issues:
“These included annual pay increases, lax to near-non-existent conflict-of-interest and conflict-of-commitment regulations, and ample pools of powerless grad students, postdocs and adjuncts to minimize professorial workloads. As a safety net, the faculty favored disciplinary procedures that virtually assured acquittal of members accused of abusing subordinates, seducing students, committing plagiarism, fabricating data, or violating the one-day-a-week limit on money-making outside dealings.”
Addition: I strongly recommend against buying the kindle version, which I unfortunately now own. The formatting is so poor and distracting that the book is close to unreadable.