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Poor Journalism

In the end, it may not be the worst of all; and yet, the article that the Corriere della Sera has recently dedicated to the case of three apparently well renowned Italian scholars in Economy, whose curricula in the last run of the National Scientific Qualification were evaluated as insufficient to grant them the access to the position of full professor at Italian universities strikes us as an example of superficial, unbalanced judgment.

Of course, we don't discuss the merit of the matter: for all we know, these three people may well have, and probably have, excellent reasons to complain about an evaluation that they consider flawed, or injust. What we point out is that the openly scandalistic style of the article doesn't make justice of the innovative effort that is implied in the Scientific Qualification process, however imperfect it may be.

Two pieces of information appear to us as especially missing: first, a few figures on the dimension of the process; how many thousands of applications have been filed? how many reviewers have been involved? etc.; second, in the article one finds no reference to the primary sources of information, which are, in fact, public.

On the comforting side, the impression that one gets by surfing through the comments is that most readers were already well informed, and that they knew it already far better than the author. Does it comfort you?

Friday, 28 March, 2014