Britanska ministrica za znanost Amanda Solloway je imela 14. septembra 2020 odličen govor o razmerah v znanstveno-akademski skupnosti, ki ga lahko preberete tule: Science Minister at Vitae Connections Week 2020. Navajamo nekaj odlomkov:

Last month, I met a young woman undertaking her PhD at a large UK university. She told me all about the fascinating things she was researching, and the imaginative ways that her research could make a difference. I could sense that real, wonderful passion and excitement she had for her work.

And then she hit me with a bombshell: “I just can’t see myself having a future in research.”

… it was an enormous shock, coming into this job, to learn that nearly two-thirds of researchers have witnessed bullying or harassment at work, and almost half have experienced it themselves. … Institutions with widespread bullying and harassment problems should not benefit from the taxpayer’s support.

… People like our PhD student should never feel like she has failed just because she doesn’t end up as an academic. Because focussing on a narrow set of opportunities leads to unhealthy levels of competition and game-playing. It kills diversity. And it damages our R&D system overall. Because research is inherently creative – it’s about finding out new things, taking risks and venturing into the unknown. Nobody should live in fear that, if they don’t play exactly the same game as everyone else, according to the same narrow set of rules, they’ll lose their jobs.

… Our R&D People and Culture Strategy should support the whole system – backing everyone to do their best.

… That’s why it’s so baffling to me that scientists and researchers seem to evaluate each other in such strange ways – by obsessing over spurious metrics or narrow indicators of prestige. … Publication seems to have become an end in itself. It’s as though some researchers – and leaders – have forgotten what really matters.

… So I have today written to science ministers across the world, to invite them to join me in looking closely at this dependence on publications and to find out what we can collectively do about it.

… It is absurd that the very research community that gave us the great gift of the Internet – the means to freely share information instantly with almost anyone around the world – still relies on an outdated system of publishing in closed-access journals which locks scientific discoveries away, tragically curtailing their usefulness.

… Let’s seize this opportunity, this moment of renewal, to unleash the creativity of all of us, to improve research culture – to make it more diverse, more imaginative and more impactful.

Vir: Science Minister at Vitae Connections Week 2020 – GOV.UK

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