TS Picks: June 20, 2016

Excellence schmexellence; thinking outside the biomedical box; homeopathy journal sunk by self-citation

Bob Grant
Bob Grant
Jun 20, 2016

WIKIMEDIA, 1997

Selections from The Scientist’s reading list:

  • The biomedical research enterprise is short on risk-taking and ambitious ideas, and the situation isn’t getting any better, according to an editor at open-access journal eLife. Peter Rodgers penned an essay in Nautilus last week (June 16) bemoaning the overly conservative nature of life-science research, and contrasting the intellectual inertia in biological fields with the brashness and forward-thinking nature of theoretical physics research. Federal funding bottlenecks, an almost innate fear of mathematical models, publishing pressure, and a reliance on traditional model systems are all to blame for the overly cautious nature of life sciences.
     
  • “Excellence” is hurting UK science. A group of researchers say that overuse of the word in government funding agency documents and in the media and over-pursuit of the ideal is damaging science in the country. In a yet-to-be-published manuscript, they argued that scientists in...