1. Report this comment

    Carl Crott said:

    In advance I do not mean this as anything personal however this topic is near to my heart and is something that DEEPLY needs fixed. So take it as you’ve touched on a legitimate fixable problem.

    Here goes:

    “Because laboratory heads can understandingly become so obsessed with where the next round of funding will come from, they feel pressured to publish as much as possible.”

    Academia has its funding heuristic for research and that heuristic is government. Scientists would rather b!tch about the issues of “publish or perish” / writing grants than do something about it. Why do you spend so much time writing grants? How about bc the source of your funding has zero motivation to improve. Thus Government funded academic research has become the H&R block equivalent for scientific paper pushing beauracracy. Do you want to do research or paper work? Well then! You and your PIs shoud be hiring private sector talent, instead of perpetuating academic nepotism and using that ( intra-university ) psuedo-IT department you ship your processing off to.
    Can’t find any reliable companies to do the work? Congratulations! You’ve found your first business model. Now go find an engineer and make it happen. Literally you’ve aready got cash flow AND you’re a specialist in the field.

    “There is no denying that, when it comes to public understanding of science, current scientific research is as elusive as particles in a black hole. Well, maybe its not that bad, but there is a lot of room for improvement.”

    There is an insidious issue in plain sight here. The issue being that SPECIFICALLY it is not billy-bob hicks who comes to you looking for information how how he might automate your information pipelines, its ENGINEERS.
    It is this SPECIFIC issue of “ I cannot simplify for XZY total sh!t reason “ Simply put it takes more mental horsepower to simplify something than it does to say “ I cant simplify it “ or “ the general public is too dumb “.
    You’re the scientist. Correct me if I’m wrong here but its your job to properly abstract it. A parallel example in web applications: You don’t want to know about password salting, hashing and auto-testing user-generation for a login system. You just want it to know users are safe and secure logging in? Right? Right.
    Scientists love to wax vernacular as its their way of “wearing their heart on their sleeves” everyone is signaling how smart they are through language and loquaciousness. In reality the smart ones walk the line of sufficiently complex and simple enough to execute on.

    “Here’s the thing: most scientists are already overburdened with just keeping their laboratories and careers afloat. Between an endless cycle of grant writing, committee meetings, data generation and analysis, and dealing with the general bureaucratic crap inherent to any research institution, many scientists do not have a moment to spare.”

    You hit the nail on the head. So how are you going to make progress to develope working applications and private sector investment?

    “…being a scientist and a science communicator can be just utterly unrealistic.”

    I cant help but compare this to startups. But this is like the CEO saying “ I cant run a business and sell it “.

    “ The current funding methods are crumbling, and our society is not at all well-informed.

    Can I say “ this is your fault “ ? You’re the wildly intelligent researcher who cant distill down something sensible to anyone outside your niche.

Comments are closed.