patricia arsene

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene University Politehnica of Bucharest patricia@shiva.pub.ro Executive Agency for Higher Education and Research Funding, Romania patricia.arsene@uefiscsu.ro

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 2/14 Motto: “The future belongs to multinational science” George Emil Palade Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1974 for discoveries concerning the structural and functional organization of the cell

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 3/14 Among the forty-five sovereign states of today's Europe, Romania ranks as medium-sized. Its history and civilization have been marked by its location at the crossroads of three major regions - Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, belonging to none but sharing with each their drawbacks and achievements.

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 4/14 In the beginning of the 20th century, the bright minds of the moment put their seal on the evolution of the Romanian education system, with highly positive effects on the development of the country. Unfortunately, due to historical context, there were moments of syncope, which altered our valuable tradition in this field. After 1990, by being conscious that the only viable alternative is that of the “European way”, Romanian scientists are gathering their strengths in rebuilding-up a real intellectual elite, able to create schools with high potential in research and dissemination of information.

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 5/14 Building-up scientific careers - historical overview I. Inputs: End of the 18th century: the sons of the upper classes started having their education in Paris, and French became (and was until the communist years) a genuine second language of culture for Romanians. From the mid-19th century down to World War I, many Romanian intellectuals studied in Berlin.

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 6/14 I. Outputs: Building-up of valuable academic and research schools with results of European and international recognition ( biologist George Emil Palade, Nobel Prize winner, is only one of the remarkable “products” of the Romanian school) The modeling role of France was felt especially in the fields of political ideas, administration and law, as well as in literature The influence of the German space was felt especially in the humanities (philosophy, logics, philology, history) and technical sciences.

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 7/14 II. Inputs: During communism, the freedom of expression was constantly restricted in various ways: the Sovietization period was an attempt at building up a new cultural identity on the basis of socialist realism and lending legitimacy to the new order by rejecting traditional values II. Outputs: Career system was usually dominated by political involvement Very low access to information (western publications, participation to conferences) Impossibility of contacts with the western scientific world

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 8/14 III. Inputs: The fall of communism in 1989 elated the cultural world, but the embarkment on the free market economy and the problems of the transition period has faced it with a tough experience. III. Outputs: Romanian scientists are gathering their strengths in rebuilding-up a real intellectual elite excellency criteria become rule in building-up scientific careers European and international dimensions of Romanian scientists careers (mobility programmes, participation in World Bank, PHARE, TEMPUS, LEONARDO, SOCRATES projects)

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 9/14 Romania-Research Expenditures

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 10/14 Cultural Heritage/ mentality/ present situation Still exists the culture of becoming students and after this PhD students and assistants in the same university Due to economical constraints, Romanian scientists were not used to being mobile People are used in having tenured positions Scientists face a “deficit of social status”, due to the very low level of salaries Deficit of information – another important problem in Romanian career system Scientists = idealistic people

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 11/14 Flexibility Scientists side: YES Home institution side: the position will be held for a period of up to three years Practicalities: the legal procedures are sometimes time-consuming; it will be of great help the introduction of a different treatment of scientists considering the visas for long term visits

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 12/14 Insecurity Considering the economical aspects, Romanian universities and research institutes have quite numerous positions for young scientists After stages abroad, one has to face the mentality of some of the colleagues in the home institutions Family aspects

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene 13/14 Alternatives (the vertical way of behavior!) Understanding that excellency is the only solution for becoming partners in building-up the ERA Eagerness in sharing expertise and learning continuously (“I chose to do research abroad because I felt I did not know enough” George Emil Palade) Respecting the correct rules in disseminating information Eliminating the “feudal model” that continues to exist in some research teams

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Flexibility and Insecurity versus Cultural Heritage in Building-up Scientific Careers Dr. Patricia Arsene For Reflection: “Do you want a Romanian science from the very beginning, or do you want good science? If you want Romanian science, you are handicapped because you cannot support Romanian science for practical reasons, but also because the future belongs to multinational science.” George Emil Palade Nobel Prize Winner 14/14 Thinker of Hamangia (Neolitic Culture)

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