[Marxism] Fwd: Academic Fraud and the Ponzi Scheme of “Higher Learning” » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Sep 19 13:29:24 MDT 2014

Why is the vast majority of social science research junk?  The answer is 
based in how academics are trained in graduate school.  What’s perhaps 
most disturbing is the complete disinterest of professors training PhD 
students in emphasizing the importance of practical research, to be used 
in some way to improve democracy and society.  This goal is rarely 
idealized in graduate training.  Typically, students randomly pick 
topics they personally think are “interesting” within a vacuum, despite 
the fact that most topics of choice are so narrow and esoteric that they 
are of little interest to even most of those within the discipline 
itself.  Over-specialization leads to a mismatch between research 
agendas and teaching.  Most research has little value for the typical 
undergraduate, leaving many professors ill-equipped for their teaching 

Professors that prioritize being public intellectuals, writing for 
popular as well as academic audiences, are often filtered out during the 
hiring process in many schools (at very best this quality is rarely 
valued in job searches).  There seems to be little room in higher ed 
today for people committed to making the world a better place.  The 
neutering of research serves a broader social purpose, however.  If 
professors – those with great resources to expose social injustices and 
improve the quality of democracy – are disinterested in applied 
research, then they will play an instrumental role in tacitly 
reinforcing official propaganda, deception, and societal indoctrination. 
  Political and economic elites don’t have to worry about intellectual 
challenges from the academy in social scientists produce academic 
gibberish and psychobabble.


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