Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Why is noone here when I arrive in the morning? Why is noone here when I leave in the afternoon? I don't arrive extremely early; I don't leave extremely late...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Jobb, söndag, väder och vind

Torsdag ringde jag Göteborg, och meddelade att jag tyvärr tackar nej till den erbjudna tjänsten. Trevliga, trevliga ställe, men tyvärr, tyvärr, det är omöjligt, av så himla många anledningar...

Ikväll ska Brann fira gullet, medaljerna delas ut, men vilket väder det blev!

Jag pluggar min pedagogikkurs (Södertörns högskola). Har avklarat Säljö: Lärande i praktiken - ett sociokulturellt perspektiv. Nu är det dags för Doll: A Post-Modern Perspective on Curriculum.

Måste komma ihåg att tipsa JE om denna länken: Thirty Great Books on Education
A Ten-Year Retrospective!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Xanthoria - as good as it gets!

This was the first slogan for my favourite research objects that came from Sloganizer. The second was: "Xanthoria loves you.", which I quite like. Or, how about: «Ooh la la, Xanthoria.»?!

«Feel the magic of lichens

Wasting your time, probably

Spynotes referred to this thread at this site. I know that you and everyone does not have the time, but still - it is exciting!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Neiiiii, det gikk ikke... kanskje i morgen?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Kommer gullet hem?

I kveld spiller Brann mot Ålesund (borte). Hvis Brann vinner, er gullet endelig 'heme' i Bergen, etter 44 år!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Lately, I have been thinking about statistics. So have other people; bloggers, it turns out.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Mitt i middagen i fredags ringde Göteborg... ja, nu är det officiellt; de erbjuder mig tjänsten som 1.intendent i mykologi.

Så bra att "extended lichen group" skulle ut och ta en öl tillsammans på kvällen. Så kunde jag tänka på något annat.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Hitherto, 7 people responded. Americans and Brits. Someone put the contribution on the ABLS homepage, too.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A contribution to the Lichens-l listserver

Promoting lichenology – interest, networks and funding

Promoting interest in lichenology is a responsibility for all of us, Jan-Eric Mattsson pointed out in an article in the 39(2) issue of the IAl Newsletter (2007). In this contribution, I focus on the responsibility to support research projects in the field of lichenology.

There are different aspects of this responsibility. For example, Jan-Eric listed several suggestions concerning teaching, research, and various scientific meetings. He specifically stated that it is a responsibility for “those of us who have more or less permanent positions and some degree of financial support etc”.

On page 16, he stated that “Most of us appear… doing what they [the funding body] ask rather than something scientifically more productive.” I would like to add that perhaps it is possible for “those who have more or less permanent positions” to write successful applications without considering the requests from the funding body. But, for someone in a more unsafe position, for example having completed both a Ph. D. degree and a subsequent post doctoral fellowship and with no permanent position within reach, it is crucial to please the funding body by proposing projects, which contain the requested elements and relate to given criteria. That is, to offer to do what “they” ask. Scientific reviewers are asked to evaluate and judge the proposed projects with the given criteria as the framework. The product is likely to be a mainstream research project that provides a kind of research that may or may not provide valuable knowledge for the discipline of lichenology.

There are other aspects to consider when writing project proposals. For example, it is important to consider various aspects that committees tend to find attractive, for example, to what degree international collaborators from countries considered appropriate are included.

Since the lichenological family is comparatively small, finding suitable partners to invite to a collaboration (i.e. with good scientific quality in relation to the criteria and the proposed project, good personal chemistry with the applicant, as well as being appetising for the deciding committee, for example, by being located to a country considered scientifically cool) can prove to be a difficult task. Moreover, most who have more or less permanent positions are overworked and hesitate to accept potential additions to the workload by accepting to be active collaborative partners.

Basic research in Norway is currently under-financed and struggling. Politicians repeatedly express intentions to raise research funding to the OECD levels, but seem to fail. The Norwegian Research Council is one of very few realistic funding bodies, and one of the sections, Fribio (funding the whole spectre of research in biology and biomedicine, see, is in practise where almost all lichenological projects must be proposed. Competition is extremely tough. For example, out of > 80 proposals submitted to Fribioøko (the section preceeding Fribio, funding biology, e.g. terrestrial ecology) in 2006, only 9 were funded (c. 10%).

As a consequence, only projects that receive the highest marks from all scientific reviewers (last year, there were three reviewers for each application) have any chance whatsoever being considered by the deciding committee!

Again, the lichenological family is relatively small, which brings about both advantages and disadvantages. The fact that most of us know each other or at least our work, or, have met may disturb the individual evaluation process, which ideally should be objectively critical. This may manifest both positively and negatively, of course.

The tradition of the lichenological family to strive to maintain a neutral perspective on ourselves and our science and to give honest criticism (although friendly!) can prove to be a disadvantage in the context of relation to funding bodies. Although we may like the project that we evaluate as a reviewer, find it scientifically sound and worth of funding, perhaps we are too carful to point out any details that may improve the project. The consequence is that the reviewer might not be able to give it the highest marks for some of the evaluattion criteria. And a good or very good overall mark is given, but it may seem impossible to reward the proposed project with the highest overall mark, in the name of objectivity.

In some countries, e.g. Great Britain, our head of department has told us, the Research council have access to an adequate amount of money. The competition is indeed strong, but a character indicating that the project is “Good” to “Very good” (equal to a character of 4-5 out of 7 in the Norwegian Research Council) can be enough to get the proposed project funded. In Norway, however, basal biological research (including all aspects of the science of lichenology) is financially squeezed, and only proposed projects given the highest marks by reviewers are considered by the committee in the final round!

Suggestions to reviewers and referees of proposed projects
- Be aware of that the fact that we belong to a small and “tight” scientific community may affect your role as an evaluator.
- Be aware that reviewers of other disciplines may give high marks in order to promote their particular scientific field – we lichenologists might consider promoting our science likewise.
- In some cases, in order for the project to have the slightest chance of receiving funding, it must have received the highest mark available. That is, if you like the proposed project and think that it is worthy of carrying through – reward it with the highest character! If you give any other (that is, lower) character you might just as well have written that you hate it and don’t think it worthy in any way or at all.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Fina fina Bergen i sol!

Og Brann går fra succé til succé!

Ja, det var visst Kanelbullens dag i Sverige igår!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Är det kanelbullens dag idag?


Institutt for Biologi, UiB, har nu infört flextid. Det känns ungefär som Facebook. Man känner sig tvingad att vara med, men det är meningslöst...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Bättre nu

Jag mår bättre nu. Det var en ångestladdad natt. Idag är det sol, och helt tyst i korridorerna här. Jag har ingen undervisning förrän halv ett. Nu ska jag gå och leta upp kaffe.