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  1. May 2021
    1. Before introducing the KPIs, a majority of polish science was basically people milking the system and doing barely any (valueable) research. It was seen as an easy, safe and ok paying job where the only major hassle is having to teach the students. You often needed connections to get in. It was partially like that because of the communist legacy, where playing ball with the communist party was the most important merit for promotion, which, over the course of 45 years (the span of communism in Poland), filled the academia management ranks with conformist mediocrities.Now, after a series of major reforms, there's a ton of KPIs, and people are now doing plenty of makework research to collect the required points, but still little valueable work gets done. Also, people interested in doing genuine science who would be doing it under the old system are now discouraged from joining academia, because in the system they're expected to game the points system and not to do real work.What is the lesson from this is? Creating institutionalized science is hard? It requires a long tradition and scientific cultural standards and can't be just wished into place by bureaucrats? Also, perhaps it's good to be doing the science for some purpose, which in the US case are often DoD grants, where the military expects some practical application. This application may be extremely distant, vague and uncertain (they fund pure math research!), but still, they're the client and they expect results. Whereas the (unstated) goal of science in Poland seems to be just to increase the prestige of Polish science and its Universities by getting papers into prestigious journals, whereas the actual science being done doesn't matter at all - basically state-level navel gazing.