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TitleReleasing the Potentials of Senior Scholars and Scientists: Emerging Productivity in a New ERA
EditorHenk A. Becker, Johannes J.F. Schroots
CategorySocial Sciences
AbstractSince 2000, the European Union has followed the Lisbon strategy to transform Europe into a leading knowledge-based economy. Major efforts have been exerted to realize the European Research Area (ERA). In the context of the Lisbon agenda and the creation of the ERA, a human resource policy has been debated and policy initiatives have been developed to improve the market for researchers. Europe needs researchers, but the impending retirement of a generation of researchers is aggravated by young people's declining interest in scientific careers. This situation compels us to reflect on senior scholars and scientists' potential contributions. Mandatory retirement is a major obstacle to the release of these researchers ' potential. In view of the aging populations in Europe, it is about time we broaden our knowledge of this potential pool of researchers who wish to carry out research and disseminate their knowledge of and expertise in ERA after their retirement. This book focuses on the renaissance and emerging productivity of senior researchers in a new ERA. Tt exposes mistaken ideas about older scholars and scientists, as well as presenting their research potential and how this can be released. The book also includes a series of career autobiographies of academics who continued working after mandatory retirement and who may serve as role models for future generations. This volume is partly based on a 2003 mini-symposium on the emeriti policy of Utrecht University, organized by Henk A. Becker, and partly on the activities of the European Research Institute on Health and Aging (ERGO), of which Johannes J.F. Schroots is the director. ERGO's aim is to disseminate knowledge on and expertise in healthy aging to the member states of the European Union and other interested countries. The present book is the final product of Becker and Schroots 's efforts to advocate the necessity of an EU policy on senior researchers. This book is highly relevant to senior academics, coordinators of research units, deans of faculties and university board and staff members. For researchers and policy makers, it expounds (a) the hidden resources and life-course dynamics of academics, particularly the lifespan development of their physical and mental abilities (b) the consequences of the pattern of generations in science (c) the negative effects of mandatory retirement on active aging and the availability of scien tific personnel (d) senior scholars and scientists' various role models, and (e) the research activities needed to release senior scholars and scientists' potential in the new ERA. It is our pleasure to acknowledge the support of Utrecht University and the ERGO Foundation, which provided Henk A. Becker and Johannes J.F. Schroots with the opportunity to serve as editors of this book. We are also grateful for the encouragement of the EC Directorate- General for Research, who helped us to bring the Epilogue to a favorable conclusion. Finally, the editors would like to thank the European Federation of National Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) for their organizational and administrative support.
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Year of publication2008