NWO chairman offers his apologies

 

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The Chairman of the National Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Marcel Levi, has apologised for his latest column (in Dutch). In it, he stated that the term safety is in danger of becoming a fashionable and meaningless buzzword ‘for really all situations in which you don‘t quite get your way’. “And then once it is really unsafe, nobody reacts anymore. So misuse of the word 'safety’ is only really unsafe.”

 

The column led to many reactions from, among others, the National Network of Women Professors (in Dutch). Levi apologised. “I recognise that this column and the examples in it can be seen as a letter of support for administrators and managers who dismiss undesirable behaviour as whining and lack of resilience, when in fact that is an important factor maintaining an unhealthy research culture.”

 

He regrets having ‘ripped open scars within the academic community’. “It was explicitly never my intention to hurt people. However, I did; I hereby apologise for this.”

 

The NWO board, of which Levi is Chair, assures that social safety will be given a lot of attention in the coming years. It ‘explicitly distances itself from the possible perception that NWO is an organisation that embraces social safety in word but not in deed’. (HOP, HC)