The academic system appears to reward only those mythical super heroes who are excellent researchers, passionate teachers, wonderful communicators, and money-making machines – as we illustrated in our magazine on recognition and rewards. But who is behind such a mythical super hero and what are its consequences? In the Mythical Super Hero campaign, we take a look at the human stories behind concepts of excellence perpetuated in today’s academia.
To get the conversation going, we visualized the academic jack of all trades as a multi-armed hero who teaches, investigates, gets grant money, manages teams, has an eye on societal impact, and in doing it all perpetuates the concept of the mythical super hero. The coming months we’ll share stories in different places. Eventually we hope for a snowball effect where more academics spark conversations about the expectations and realities of academic life, just by noticing a coffee mug in their Zoom meetings.