the community site for and by developmental biologists

4 thoughts on “Has the academic spring sprung?”

  1. “… a fundamental philosophical flaw: that it is possible to rank scientific research”.
    I do not agree entirely: with the benefit or retrospective, it can actually be quite easy (e.g. the works of Newton on Physics vs. the works of Newton on… Alchemy!).
    What I would say is that it is “extremely-difficult-if-not-impossible to rank scientific research with automated metrics in the short-term”. Which is what is in place.
    However, there is a need to allocate resources in the short term and therefore to rank science in the short term, even with anticipation. And for that there is no substitute for our peers’ judgement, as it has been put much more compellingly that I can possibly do elsewhere:
    Therefore we need not only abandon metrics but also reestablish a peer review system where it is not that easy to just trash other people’s research. And there is a strong opposition to move in that direction not only from Governments, Fundind Bodies and Universities but also from a large enough part of the Academic Establishment.


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