“Jobs that Really Matter”: Critical Reflections on Changes in Academic Life during/after the Covid-19 Pandemic

  • Veronika Kalmus University of Tartu
Keywords: coronavirus, COVID-19, science, social acceleration, neoliberal academia, critical theory, discourses, double movement


The prioritisation of the coronavirus pandemic in the public sphere has resonated in the field of sciences, with Covid-19 occupying the interest of many researchers in various disciplines. This article aims to analyse features of interpersonal and institutional discourses, published data, and the author’s observations to reflect critically upon the impact of Covid-19 on academic life and sketch some trends in the field of sciences. The analysis demonstrates that Covid-19 serves as an accelerator for science; this process, however, is asynchronous across countries, disciplines, and research streams. The “Covid-isation” of research systems reinforces the instrumentalisation and projectification of science and creates intra-institutional hierarchies. The coronavirus crisis amplifies existing inequalities and prompts the double movement of acceleration versus deceleration. In the potential social morphogenesis in the field of science, the role of the humanities and social sciences scholars in asking critical questions and facilitating meta-reflexivity becomes paramount.

Reflections (Non Peer-Reviewed)