We Want You to be More Critical, Postech Times!
We Want You to be More Critical, Postech Times!
  • Lee Jong-chan
  • 승인 2010.05.19 13:09
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As a faithful reader of The Postech Times, it is not difficult to sense the changes in this largest of our university’s newspapers. The first thing that captures the eyes is the richness of its contents. Not to mention the establishment of the English edition (Sep. 2009), one can easily notice that the variety and the quality of articles certainly have improved. The reporters and editors of The Postech Times may be proud of their hard work to make the paper more abundant. On the other hand, many readers question that the criticism against the university has been disappearing in the recently issued papers. It is another significant change which should be reflected among the members of The Postech Times (and among all the POSTECH community) seriously.

The decrease of criticism has had a not-so-short history. For years, there were worries in the community about the position of POSTECH in Korean and international society. This anxiety made the university oversensitive to the image shown outside. The simple answer to the question “How to make our university look better?” might be not criticizing ourselves. At the very moment, I perceive that this answer is shared among our community. Well, in the short term, it might be alright. However, this is not only wrong in longer perspective, but this will obstruct the progress of our university.

All students and faculty members in POSTECH are scientists, so we truly understand that ‘the one and only way to make our university look better is to actually make it better’. There is no other way around this. And for those well trained with scientific reasoning, it is obvious that the only way to make progressive development is to ask questions and criticize. This is where The Postech Times should play its role as the major university press. It should be able to raise questions about the policies and plans of the university. Sharp criticism should be initiated if there is room for betterment, as well as encouraging praises that must be given for achievements. If the criticism is restored and actively raised, the readers of The Postech Times  would appreciate it as a sign of the university’s willingness for development.

I was frequently told that this unserviceable anxiety largely comes from external university evaluations. However, not to speak of whether the yardstick of evaluation is accurate, I have to point out that this is merely an illusion. A good external valuation is nothing but a by-product of the progress thus far, but never reflects the future prospective. The future is only determined by which and how we do right now. To make a voyage to a prominent future we need to use the present, not the past, as the compass. Therefore, we all need to encourage questions and contemplate criticism at POSTECH with a fair and open mind.

Some people talk about the stability of the university’s position. I think this is nonsense. There is a very famous saying in academia, “publish or perish”. POSTECH is at the center of academia, so there is no such thing as rest. If we do not progress, weill just regress. Now is the time to stay hungry and open our eyes to enjoy criticism as the chance to get better. A huge duty is imposed upon The Postech Times as a critical university press for the progress of our university.

Lee Jong-chan 
Physics Ph.D Student