Quantum leap as universities enter publishing

It takes no effort to make things worse – they get worse anyway – and quite a considerable effort to improve things, as illustrated by the creator of the first university press in Greece, Stephanos Trahanas. Happily marrying the two concepts of state management and quality – a rare combination in Greece – the director of Crete University Press demonstrated that a state-run organization need not be associated with inefficiency. Founded in 1985 by the Institute of Technology and Research of the University of Crete, the publishing house has dozens of successful titles to its name. But Trahanas is also famous for being one of the best lecturers in the Physics Department of the University of Crete – where he teaches for free. Yet he is neither a lecturer nor a teacher – in fact, he is engaged in «anti-teaching,» as he deprecatingly says. At the same time, his books (eight of them, most of which are concerned with quantum mechanics and differential equations), taught in almost all departments of physics and mathematics in the country, are regarded as classics of their kind. Recently, he was granted an honorary doctorate by the University of Crete for both his teaching and writings. But he remains mainly focused on teaching young people. A good teacher, above all, he says, is a good storyteller.

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