Thursday, 6 October 2016

Call to action: academics should reclaim their voice in society, NOW

Enough is enough! Let's reclaim common ground, let's reclaim our voice in society!

These thoughts have been playing in my mind: why are academic voices hardly heard in contemporary societal debates? Why are there so many opinions, and so little facts? Why do we - as educators - promote lifelong learning, yet we are not reaching out to citizens in our own regions, nations, or across nations?

The reason why I ask these questions, is because I feel that a social world populated with superficial opinions is a world susceptible to populism, dichotomy ... and ultimately a mentally impoverished society. If we do not take action, than how can we take our societal role seriously. We, as scientists, as academics, as teachers have a huge societal goal.

I truly believe, that we - academics, educators, teachers - should start reclaiming our voice in society, in order to take back what we have lost: voices of reason, sound information (in all its nuanced diversity, not information delivered in black on white).

In this presentation I make a first attempt to organise my thoughts on the need to reclaim our voice in society. Let ourselves be heard across media, across groups and communities, across generations... in order to regain common sense and argument.