Reforming Science

Editorial  in two parts by Arturo Casadevall and Ferric C. Fang from Infect. Immun. March 2012 vol. 80 no. 3:

Reforming Science: Methodological and Cultural Reforms

Contemporary science has brought about technological advances and an unprecedented understanding of the natural world. However, there are signs of dysfunction in the scientific community as well as threats from diverse antiscience and political forces. Incentives in the current system place scientists under tremendous stress, discourage cooperation, encourage poor scientific practices, and deter new talent from entering the field. It is time for a discussion of how the scientific enterprise can be reformed to become more effective and robust. Serious reform will require more consistent methodological rigor and a transformation of the current hypercompetitive scientific culture.

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Reforming Science: Structural Reforms

Science has a critical role to play in addressing humanity’s most important challenges in the twenty-first century. However, the contemporary scientific enterprise has developed in ways that prevent it from reaching maximum effectiveness and detract from the appeal of a research career. To be effective, the methodological and culture reforms discussed in the accompanying essay must be accompanied by fundamental structural reforms that include a renewed vigorous societal investment in science and scientists.

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