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Home NATIONALControversy over output of EUR 700,000 research report
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Fri, 08 Nov, 2013 02:32:20 AM
Report recommends changes in Finns attitude
Govt not authority to evaluate academic works: PM
FTimes-STT Report, November 8
The EUR 700,000 research report on future development released on Thursday. Photo Lehtikuva
The much talked about report of the research on sustainable development by Manuel Castells and Pekka Himanen conducted at a cost of Euro 700,000 was published on Thursday with various recommendations including bringing changes in the attitude of the Finns.
The culture of shyness is everywhere in Finnish society, which creates a strong barrier on the way to further development, said Philosopher Pekka Himanen, urging people to change their attitudes.
“Envy also impacts development,” said the researcher, pointing out that the social cost of both success and failure is too high in Finland.
Referring to the people of USA, who did not treat bankruptcy as a failure, Himanen wrote that the Finnish entrepreneurs considered going or facing bankruptcy a failure.
Professor Pekka Himanen (right) and Professor Manuel Castells and Himanen at a press conference on the research report in Helsinki on Thursday. Photo Lehtikuva.
Finland’s premium strength lied in the culture of trust which was a legacy of an encompassing social security, the report said.
However, academicians and political leaders have come down hard on the report claiming that it lacked in new ideas, Yle reported.
One academician said the study was more of a pamphlet than a research.
Heikki Hiilamo, professor of social policy at the Helsinki University, said the report did not fit the criteria of academic research.
Endorsing the research and recommending people to buy the report, Prime MinisterJyri Katainenon Thursday said the government was not the authority to evaluate the academic work.
Prime Minister Jyri Katainen. Photo Lehtikuva
The Prime Minister’s Office has recommended that the research project worth EUR 700,000 carried out individually on the future of finance by Professor Pekka Himanen should be bought and there was no competition in the tender process.
“The government does not approve or reject research works,” said the Prime Minister, adding that the report would be evaluated in the same way as other social works.
He, however, said some portions of the research report were very interesting and thought provoking.
“I did not know that a large group of researcherswere involved in the work,” Katainen said.
Earlier, Katainen has been criticised for commissioning the Euro 700,000 research and also because the research had not followed any competitive tendering. The issues then went to the constitutional law committee in parliament and the chancellor of justice.
On September 6, the chancellor of justice raised questions about good governance in the deal that in which the government bought the report from philosopher Pekka Himanen without bidding.
Chancellor of Justice Jaakko Jonkka in his statement said: “No good governance was found in the process.” He was resolving a number of complaints brought against the prime ministerin this connection. 
Jonkka said according to good governance, it was essential to make such a deal public. 
The chancellor of Justice observed that the normal procedure of funding was not followed in case of the research project.
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