27 April 2013
Tags: Fraud, Scientific misconduct
Posted in Ethics, High-impact journals, politics
Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, a staff writer at Science magazine, has written an elegant article in the New York Times about the Dutch psychologist Diederik Stapel. The scientific misconduct of Stapel, including fabrication of data for at least 30 publications, outraged the scientific community a couple of years ago. At that time Stapel was the dean of the social and behavioral sciences faculty at the Tilburg university. He returned his [cum laude] Ph.D. title to the University of Amsterdam in November 2011, noting that his “behavior of the past years are inconsistent with the duties associated with the doctorate.”
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9 February 2013
Tags: career, h-index, Impact factor, publications
Posted in High-impact journals, politics, Tips
The scientific community keeps on finding new ways to facilitate to judge scientists. The old-fashioned way of reading her papers, listening to her talks, interviewing her for more than an hour, reading recommendation letters, and consulting colleagues personally takes way too much time.
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14 September 2012
Tags: exploitation, group leader, science
Posted in PhD life, politics, Tips
In science the dilemma of either cooperating or competing is everywhere. The situation is never black or white and depends on the discipline. In this post I will limit myself to the typical small-science group model: one group leader, one or two postdocs and a number – typically between 4 and 6, of PhD students.
All the group member are under pressure. PhD students have to finish their thesis in time, with preferably a couple of first-author articles in glossy magazines.
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5 May 2012
Tags: grants, MMORPG, peer-review
Posted in Ethics, politics, Web 2.0
Much more has been said about the failure of current grant system than that has actually changed. My favorite opinion piece is this one by Peter A. Lawrence. The single-sentence abstract says it all: “The granting system turns young scientists into bureaucrats and then betrays them.” There are a couple of suggestions for improving the funding distribution in that article but the title of a comment by Markus Noll says enough about why nothing is changing: “Scientists in power will never change their system unless forced.”
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