Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Commission Communication “A single market for the 21st century” (in particular concerning financial services)

The commission has just published a Communication on "A single market for 21st century Europe". This Communication is supported by five staff working papers. Particulary interesting is the document on the initiatives in the area of retail financial services. This document addresses, for instance, mortgage credit, credit intermediaries, bank accounts, payment services, credit data, the “general good” exception, transparency requirements for retail investment products and financial education.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

The dangers of blogging

According to Brian Leiter

(…) it is an interesting question how blogs are affecting the academic prospects of their proprietors. Because blogs are easily accessible and thus easier to read in a spare moment than, say, a scholarly article or scholarly book, blogs that purport to treat scholarly topics are far more likely to solidify an impression of a professor's mind and overwhelm the merits of his or her actual publications (assuming the two have different merits). This is why, it seems to me, it is particularly risky for either students or junior faculty to blog much: the first, and perhaps dominant, impression of this person's work is likely to be defined by the blog, whether fairly or not. If you're going to blog on scholarly topics, it had better be good! But even blogs that avoid scholarly topics can bias the reception of one's academic work. If you blog about political topics, especially outside the spectrum of "ordinary" opinion (which is fairly narrow in the United States, of course), you run the risk of offending someone (or many), and thus prejudicing the reception of your scholarship. (…) And even if you avoid scholarly topics and politics, a blog can still reveal (or be taken to reveal) more about one's personality and quirks than may be helpful. I know of one case where a law school considering a blogger for appointment decided against going forward simply because the blog made the candidate seem "really weird." (…)

I guess one response could be to have one scholarly and one private blog. For controversial topics one could also blog anonymously. And, finally, sometimes it could just be reasonable to remain silent – which may be useful in other cases too ..… si tacuisses…

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

New THES Global University Ranking

Available here (or freely available here).

The top 25 are: 1. Harvard University; 2. University of Cambridge; 2. University of Oxford; 2. Yale University; 5 Imperial College London; 6. Princeton University; 7. California Institute of Technology (Caltech); 7. University of Chicago; 9. UCL (University College London); 10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); 11. Columbia University; 12. McGill University; 13. Duke University; 14. University of Pennsylvania; 15. Johns Hopkins University; 16. Australian National University; 17. University of Tokyo; 18. University of Hong Kong; 19. Stanford University; 20. Carnegie Mellon University; 20. Cornell University; 22. University of California, Berkeley; 23. University of Edinburgh; 24. King's College London; 25. Kyoto University

For Europe: 1. University of Cambridge; 1. University of Oxford; 3. Imperial College London; 4. UCL (University College London); 5. University of Edinburgh; 6. King's College London; 7. Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris; 8. École Polytechnique; 9. University of Manchester; 10. University of Bristol; 11. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology); 12. University of Amsterdam; 13. Trinity College Dublin; 14. University of Warwick; 15. LSE; 16. Heidelberg University; 17. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; 18. DELFT University of Technology; 19. University of Birmingham; 20. LMU Munich; 21. TU Munich; 22. Univeristy of Sheffield; 23. University of Nottingham; 24. Uppsala University; 25. University of York

For the UK: 1. University of Cambridge; 2. University of Oxford; 3. Imperial College London; 4. UCL (University College London); 5. University of Edinburgh; 6. King's College London; 7. University of Manchester; 8. University of Bristol; 9. University of Warwick; 10. LSE

For Scotland: 1. University of Edinburgh; 2. University of St. Andrews; 3. University of Glasgow; 4. University of Aberdeen; 5. University of Dundee