Science, Tradition and Scholarship: Restoring Trust to Higher Learning in Iceland

Þórólfur Þórlindsson


In this paper I argue that the academic culture, politics and the organization of the University of Iceland has been characterized by three cultures that I label as the literary, the civic, and the Humboldtian traditions. These traditions have mixed with new ideologies and social movements, vast social and economic changes, and specific historical events in shaping the University. I speculate about the role of the ‘68 movement, as a critical element in this complex development as well as the efforts of Rector Gudmundur K. Magnusson to restore credibility and trust in the University of Iceland during the 1980s. I acknowledge that this is a first report on an ongoing project. The views presented in this paper should therefore be considered as tentative and hypothetical.


Science; tradition; relativism; university management.


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H83; I21; I23; L32; Z19



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Útgefendur eru Viðskiptadeild Háskólans á Bifröst, Viðskiptafræðideild og Hagfræðideild Háskóla Íslands, Viðskiptafræðideild Háskólans í Reykjavík og Seðlabanki Íslands.

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