And then it’s my turn to find some well-chosen words as me approach the end of the year, in this leadership series to which we, the Faggruppe leaders, have contributed as writers. A lot has happened this year, – and when I look back, it’s only been a year since we messed around with corona passports when we were travelling and we had to wear a mask when shopping and otherwise keep a 2 meter distance to our colleagues, and the Christmas party was canceled at the 12th hour when we were afraid of getting the front page of VG as a BIO incubator of viruses before Christmas started.
Fortunately, corona is now just an “ordinary” cold/flu that we no longer have any particular anxiety about. It’s amazing!!!!! What happened?? Yes, our field of ”molecular biology” has, through years of basic research, made it possible to create a super smart and effective vaccine, which has saved us from becoming seriously ill. It is an amazing feat. Last New Year’s Eve I celebrated in Denmark, and according to tradition everyone must listen to the Queen’s New Year’s speech. I listened with half an ear, but then she (Her Majesty) thanked – THE SCIENTISTS who had saved Denmark and all the rest of us. And then I thought that it was really appropriate that this group was brought forward. And when you think of all the master’s students, PhD students, postdocs and researchers who work long days, weekends and holidays, without job security, but with a personal drive to understand the unknown, yes, then it is actually them we should thank for creating the knowledge that was needed when Covid hit us and for other important biological advances we depend on.
Experimental research is important, but financially demanding since you need laboratories, experimental facilities and often expensive equipment. And it is clear that this costs us dearly at BIO when we have a lot of such activity and especially when the rent and energy costs increase sharply. The fact that we have still been able to reduce our area by 2,500 square meters is a step in the right direction to improve the economy. A fantastic job has been done by many, with Frank, Ørjan and Julie at the forefront.
In the long term, it will be exciting to see whether the funding of research and teaching takes into account the expensive needs of the experimental research fields. The idea of a tender university where production efficiency and an undifferentiated unit price per student apply, will largely disfavor the expensive experimental research (which saves us from Covid). Already today, all master’s theses are paid for by external projects, and one could say that our studies are not fully funded. But we’re not just going to complain, last year BIO got a fantastic confocal microscope which gives completely new exciting opportunities to study biological processes and take fantastic pictures of small organisms, cells and actually what happens inside cells.
But now the Christmas holiday is almost here (most of us are probably already on Christmas break on paper) and we deserve a break from moving, various evaluations and exams, but an exciting BIO seminar and Christmas party in familiar surroundings still remain.
I wish you all a nice weekend.
Head of Faggruppe Miljø- og havbruksbiologi