Saturday, October 14

Science was ...or!!

Sorry about this strange title, that is exactly how I feel especially now that I am far into my PhD. There was reason for me being where I am right now (doing a PhD)- I just love to understand what happens inside of us or any organism for that matter, anything to do with biology triggers an unknown emotion. Interestingly learning so, has and will continue to humble most people. Science was not professionalized until late 19th century (around the time when Darwin proposed his theories of evolution). Not suprisingly, when the one of the first research journals was established, it was ridiculed- researchers thought it was an absurd concept of having to publish their work! Now 2 centuries later, most of what a scientist wants are publications and grants ofcourse, probably there are not be fully blamed eh?! In this mad game of publishing and getting more grants, looks like PIs have lost sight of what brought them to this field. The concept of philosophizing is almost non-exisistent. What is even more disconcerting is the fact that they are passing it on their students..."Just do the experiments, get your data...we will talk about everything else later" seems to be the norm. I really hope this changes, for people like me are here to have fun and lots of it.


vashok said...

I really do think that there should be an upper limit on the amount of publications a PI or for that matter anybody can have in any given 5 year period. It should be restricted to say 3-4 papers for Science fields and maybe around 8-9 papers for engineering related fields. This way scientists and engineers just dont end up filling the world with truckloads of garbage that nobody else ever cares about. Instead they would be forced to publish only their best research efforts. Not just that they would also have to necessarily philosophise to a certain degree because this would force longer and larger pieces of work to be a part of the same publication, which would require authors to think aloud what all this in total means.....BTW, this would also mean, researchers are not judged on the basis of number of publications but rather on their quality, technical merit and impact...since these will essentially be the only differences left.

Even if all the aforesaid good things do not materialize, it would atleast keep junk papers to a minimum...and thats as important.

Speech is Golden said...

good point Ashok! i am very impressed tht u guys r so passionate abt research and bemoan the loss of quality