Saturday, October 13, 2018

Institute of Scientific Research and Expertises in Gorzów Wielkopolski

Institute of Scientific Research and Expertises, Instytut Badań and Ekspertyz Naukowych (IBEN) in Polish, in Gorzów Wielkopolski in western Poland is an interesting institution. It was founded in 1978 as Ośrodek Badań and Konsultacji, which could be translated as Center of of Research and Consultation. According to address provided on its website, ul. Górczyńska 21, 66-400 Gorzów Wielkopolski, it is located in the same building as the local branch of one of the largest Polish banks PKO BP, next to a large shopping center. The website displays text in Polish, Russian and English. The name of the Institute's director is not published in the "contacts" section. The key name associated with the Institute seems to be Tadeusz Zaborowski, until recently faculty member of the Poznań University of Technology, some 100 km east of Gorzów. The website claims the Institute remains under supervision of Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

The register of Ministry-supervised foundations for the year 2017 contains nearly 900 names. Fundacja Instytut Badań i Ekspertyz Naukowych (Foundation Institute of Scientific Research and Expertises) is listed in position 263. The founding year is given as 2008. The Foundation did not submit a report of its activities in any of the years 2012-2015, which begs the question how the government's supervisory function is being performed. However, the practice of not submitting activity reports seems to be very common among these foundations. The obvious conclusion is that both the government, regardless of its composition, and the academic circles in Poland are very happy with this state of affairs.

The Polish text of the website sometimes makes an impression of being translated from Russian. Its quality is less than good. Texts in Russian and English also contain obvious mistakes.

The official national register of companies and institutions, Krajowy Rejestr Sądowy, shows three other names of Zaborowski family in the foundation board and two additional individuals, one Polish and one probably Ukrainian, apparently a collaborator of T. Zaborowski, a retired employee of Uniwersytet Zielonogórski (University of Zielona Góra), a town 100 km south of Gorzów.

In 2016, the Institute claims to have organized international conference Corporate Social Responsibility, Społeczna Odpowiedzialność Biznesu, held in Poznań on 15 and 16 December. Those looking for more detailed information about the conference are served a real treat:

It was one should fill in conference the card of notification of part in aim of obtainment of more far information and send her till November 30, 2016 y. on address: Institute for Scientific Research and Expertises, Górczyńska Street 21, 66-400 Gorzów the Wlkp., Poland or e-mail on address: [...] It was can information also get under number of telephone / fax [...]

The conference's international scientific committee chairman was T. Zaborowski, of course. Among the deputy chairs were the late communist sociologist Zygmunt Bauman (died in early 2017), as well as Tatiana Rongińska, a native of Leningrad in the Soviet Union, currently director of the Institute of Psychology at the University of Zielona Góra. Bauman was employed by the communist military intelligence.

Zaborowski himself has very good contacts in Russia. The website's gallery presents several pictures of him receiving the honoris causa doctorate at Moscow State Technological University “Stankin“ (MSTU Stankin), although the date of this award is not stated. This distinction is more surprising if we lookup the author's name in the Scopus database. Quite clearly, other, non-scientific reasons were decisive in the award decision.

There are some surprising names among members of the scientific committee, such as Sally Mapstone. S. Mapstone became Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews (UK) in September 2016. She has previously served as Pro-Vice Chancellor for Personnel and Equality and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education at the University of Oxford. It would be interesting to know how and why she agreed to lend her name to this dubious project.

On 17 February 2017, IBEN's facebook page invited doctoral applications:

Ladies and Gentlemen,
kindly inform you that a person interested in the implementation of the management of doctoral dissertations and from the construction and operation of machines and ergonomics (job security) may submit their CV to [...] by 28.02.2015 together with proposals for the problems which they wish to take to resolve.
Upon receipt of CV interested will receive detailed information indicating that people were qualified for further proceedings. All are informed of the receipt of the resume, Welcome