Greetings from the Department – 10.11.2023

Foto: UiB/privat

This week I and several others in the group are at meetings in Turkey and Tromsø. Such meetings, seminars and conferences with associated long journeys can be important and necessary, but take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. It is a cross of thought that in economic times we spend a lot of money on travel and hotels. Will therefore strike a blow for the use of own and local facilities. For smaller meetings, the Marine Biology Station at Espegrend is an excellent alternative (there are 20 single rooms at the boarding school), a bit more work for the host (us), but overall better and cheaper than travel + hotel. The call is therefore that to the extent that we can hold the meetings at home and in our own premises, we should do so. It will be a win-win for the economy, both the projects and BIO, and for UiB’s climate accounting.

Last week, the position of Head of department after Ørjan was advertised. Whoever gets the job will be extremely important for BIO’s future. It is the Faculty, not BIO, that hires and it may be that they prefer someone who likes “challenges” and will drive change on the Faculty’s terms, not someone who wants to fight for BIO on BIO’s terms. If I were to give advice to the person who is offered the position, it would have to be that they ask for debt restructuring before employment in order to be able to start with a blank slate and lead BIO into the future.

The budget for 2024 is coming soon. It will be exciting, but I’m not sure if there’s anything to look forward to – we’ll see. We have a new autoclave at the top of the equipment list, if it is not funded there will be problems for everyone who depends on sterile equipment at HIB. We are also waiting for the results of the bioevaluation (EVALBIOVIT). It will also be exciting. I am quite sure that we have done well, but I am very curious as to what the evaluation will be used for and what (financial) consequences it will have for us. Is it the Matthew principle that those who have and are good should get more, or a more social democratic principle of accommodating the weak so that they will improve?



Gunnar Bratbak

Head of the Microbiology group


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