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Topic: A note on procedures from the ICMI Awards Committee
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
A note on procedures from the ICMI Awards Committee
Posted: Dec 22, 2017 5:49 PM
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Sent at the request of Anna Sfard.
NOTE - My apologies, this message should have accompanied the posting
yesterday giving the names of awardees for the Freudenthal and Klein
medals. JPB
A note on procedures from the ICMI Awards Committee

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to announce the 2017 Freudenthal and Klein
medalists. While doing this, we would like to add some clarifications
about the process that led to the decisions.
As you may know, the first call for nominations did not bring many
results. In spite of this, the ICMI Awards Committee eschewed naming
its own nominees. This abstention was necessitated by the need to
avoid conflicts of interest (see the IMU regulations, explained
below). Fortunately, following the second call, nominations started
flowing. By the deadline, a considerable number of candidates for
each of the two awards had been nominated. The committee was deeply
impressed by the quality of both the scholarship submitted for its
consideration and the nomination files, with the help of which the
decisions were to be made. Clearly, a great deal of good will and
serious effort have been invested by the proposers and seconders into
preparing those documents. The committee wishes to thank all those
who engaged in this work of love.

It must also be stressed that the Committee deemed all the nominees
to be excellent and deserving, and as a result, it was clear that the
process of selecting just one of them for each award was not going to
be easy.

An additional difficulty that complicated the process even further
was the need to avoid conflict of interest. While self-evident, this
need is now officially stressed in the new IMU regulations. Once the
nomination procedure was completed, all the members of ICMI Awards
Committee were asked to declare any conflict of interests they felt
they had with the candidates. Typically, conflicts arise in those
cases in which a person is a family member, a close colleague or a
collaborator of a nominee. Committee members who declared a conflict
with a certain candidate were subsequently excluded from evaluating
this person's file. It turned out that five out of six committee
members saw themselves in a conflict of interest with at least one of
the candidates! In the light of this, a separate sub-committee had to
be created to evaluate each of the nominees. In this situation,
making the final choice was a truly intricate process, one that
required much inventive thinking, and not just about the candidates'
scholarship, but also about the decision-making procedures. As a
result, choosing the awardees was a long and agonizing process. While
happy with our final decision, we are sorry that the medals could not
be awarded in this round to other highly deserving candidates.

Anna Sfard, on behalf of ICMI Awards Committee

Jerry P. Becker
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Services
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
625 Wham Drive / MC 4610
Carbondale, Illinois 62901

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