Philosopher Ingrid Robeyns, who holds the Chair in Ethics of Institutions at the Ethics Institute of Utrecht Universit, has won the AcademieKus (“Academy Kiss”) Prize from the Dutch General Education Union AOb (Algemene Onderwijsbond).
AOb awards the annual prize on Valentine’s Day to “someone who has made a special and courageous effort in the academic world.” Professor Robeyns was selected for her activism regarding working conditions, overwork, and structural underfunding in academia (with WOinA Actie). Of particular concern to her has been how many academic jobs are structured so as to require a degree of unpaid overtime incompatible with having care responsibilities, and how this affects the achievement of social aims of equal opportunity for men and women.
In an interview, Professor Robeyns says:
We are not robots, we are people with one life. Seven years ago I was asked by a professor if I was interested in performing a certain task. I replied, “Very interesting, but I don’t have time.” His reaction then was: ‘Never say you don’t have time, then you shouldn’t have become a professor.’ I was shocked. If you have a position as a manager, you must be willing to pass on the message of care and time.” The taboo not to be allowed to talk about too much work pressure has disappeared. Before WOinA Actie it was mainly: don’t complain and just keep working. Now we see a lot of solidarity among scientists. The taboo is completely gone.
More information here.