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Testing the Obligations of Presence in Academia in the COVID-19 Era

Clare Shelley-Egan ()
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Clare Shelley-Egan: Work Research Institute, Oslo Metropolitan University, NO-0130 Oslo, Norway

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 16, 1-10

Abstract: The COVID-19 crisis has given us a new, unprecedented impetus for thinking about the imperative of mobility in research. Travel and co-presence are widely accepted as being essential to career progression and promotion in academic life. Academics with fewer opportunities to travel find themselves at a significant disadvantage. COVID-19 and related public health measures have significantly limited the ability to be physically co-present in academia. Addressing obligations of co-presence in a less mobile world allows us to think concretely—and empathetically—about how to improve and extend virtual networking opportunities to those who have been marginalised with respect to research mobility. It also allows us to reflect on the role of reduced mobility and locality in how we think about and enact research. This article is informed and inspired by insights from research addressing academic mobility. I describe and discuss two prospects to productively work towards a new academic modus operandi characterised by limited opportunities for mobility. Furthermore, I highlight those issues and components that will require capacity building and a greater allocation of resources within the research system. In addition, I sketch out some pressing issues and questions for research mobility studies in a less mobile age going forward.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; co-presence; academic modus operandi; reduced mobility; virtual technological solutions; equity; locality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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