My first resolution is a work-centric one. It is not dissimilar to the resolution I made in 2016 (and 2015, 2014 and 2013). It is to publish 10 papers in the same year and to get promoted! In some ways, this is the academic equivalent of saying that I will quit smoking and lose 2st (12kg) in weight: it is aspirational, but lacks the detail needed to achieve it.
The second resolution is a political call to arms, to myself and the whole academic community. I think it is fair to say that we, the experts, lost 2016. Somewhere in post-truth politics, our voices stopped being heard. In the next four years, the truths I hold to be self-evident – that vaccines work, evolution happens and the climate is changing – will be under attack and no amount of clever Facebook posts that I make to my like-minded friends will help defend them. I need to come up with better ways to get the message across: fighting rhetoric with reason, fear with facts and populism with pragmatism.
It’s going to be a long year.
This post first appeared on Times Higher Education on the 5th Jan 2017