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Friday, April 29, 2011

The New Egypt .... is ... merit-based

Science magazine, THE SCIENCE magazine had this article today:

by Bruce Alberts (Editor-in-Chief of Science).

"I have just returned from Egypt, .... This is a very exciting time to be in Egypt, with its people empowered by the success of their daring, peaceful demonstrations in Tahrir Square. .... I was repeatedly asked, “What should the role of science be in the new Egypt?

...Scientists in general take it for granted that, to be successful, the scientific enterprise must operate as a meritocracy. Ideas, results, and opinions must be evaluated independently of their sources, because it is what is said that is important, not who says it...... it is the establishment of a strong merit-based culture in both the public and the private sectors that will make the new Egypt successful.

There are lessons to be learned from the mistakes made by other nations. For example, years ago I was shocked by the remarks made by a scientific leader in India who, when asked about the major problem in his large research institute, told me that it was “getting people to work.” ....This has also been the case in Egypt, and it has contributed to the widely recognized nonperformance of the Egyptian government.

... an institution thrives when its individuals are not only held accountable for their work, but also when each person is judged by his or her merits, without respect to the individual's social status or personal connections.

.... For the new Egypt, as for the United States, finding a way to ensure that all institutions are merit-based will be a difficult, but absolutely critical, task.

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