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Higher Education

October 2, 2006

A portfolio of photographs


We live in a bit of a schizophrenic time. On the one hand, we realize how modern sciences have brought improvements that have greatly enhanced the quality (and actual durations) of our lives. On the other hand, we have become increasingly suspicious of science and, especially, academia – where it is not directly involved in the development of new weaponry. We have seen deep cuts in funding, especially for sciences deemed not useful enough – in particular liberals arts, or – oh, the horror – art itself. And we have come to call scientists “eggheads” who are out of touch with reality, in particular if the results of their research clash with our political beliefs.

But what does academia really look like? In what kind of environments do those people work who, it is assumed, are overly pampered “liberals”, out of touch with the common people?

And if we do not want to dwell on the conditions of work of academics, let’s not forget that those academics fulfil the role of educators. So by asking what the academic environment looks like we’re also asking what the environment looks like that young students are subjected to when learning the skills that are supposed to help them in life.

“Higher Education” is an effort to portray academic environments. It is an ongoing project.

by Joerg Colberg of jmcolberg.com and Conscientious





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  1. October 3, 2006 at 7:08 am

    All so well-composed and troubling/unsettling.

  2. October 4, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    These are chilling pictures. They capture perfectly the sterility of an education system obsessed with product over process.

  3. November 1, 2006 at 2:13 pm

    I wonder, does the sterile environments actually aid in learning, by removing the schitzophrenic overstimulation of society from students?


  4. jec
    January 21, 2007 at 1:12 am

    Sterile? I know there’s a story on that lab bench and in those journals. The point is just that it is not as glamourous a one as many people expect.

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