What are the "seven major problems facing science" that are known from the scientists' live voice?

News site that has published scientific articles such as medicine, psychology, environmental studiesVoxIt seems that in recent interviews, in recent years, many scientists have felt serious doubts. Therefore, in order to investigate what kind of problems the scientists faced, we conducted a questionnaire survey on 270 researchers in all positions such as university professors, laboratory leaders, graduate students, I realized that science faced seven major problems.

The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists - Vox

◆ 1: Difficulty in financing
Money is necessary to do research activities. In the United States, researchers need to raise funds to borrow research facilities or hire assistants for their own research activities. In most cases, it is not enough to use funds from the university, so you need to obtain a grant from the outside.

This is a graph showing research grant subsidies in the US Federal Science Foundation. The number of scientists who are born more newly than retired scientists is that there are many chronic fund shortages.

The adoption of the grant application for research funds at the National Institutes of Health declined to 30.3% in 1997, to 18.3% in 2015. It seems that it is difficult to obtain subsidies.

It is a grant that can not be easily obtained, but mostly it will expire after 3 years of aid. Many studies take decades before the research results come out, and there is a need to struggle to acquire funds under a system where only short-term funds can be raised, and it is pointed out that it is difficult to conduct stable research. It is said that a painful voice saying that half of the research time has been busy with the grant application procedure and can not concentrate on research.

◆ 2: Exaggeration of research results
The activities of scientists and researchers are ultimately judged by published research papers published. Because everyone wants to be published in an authoritative academic journal, there is a tendency to seek sensational results, but the big problem is that truly innovative research results do not occur so frequently.

After analyzing the data, the stress when obtaining mediocre results is quite a thing. Therefore, the desire to make a meaningful result somehow is strong, there is an example that adopts a method called "P value hacking" that cuts data conveniently and operates so that some significance is recognized is.

In addition, despite the scientific significance of being able to widely inform the knowledge that the "no results have been achieved" research is "not an effective method", in the tide of unnecessarily seeking achievements, It is rare to be disclosed as.

In addition, according to a study, a total of $ 20 billion (about 2 trillion yen) of funds spent on research around the world has been used for research carried out under poor pre-design, and the most influential It is known that 30% of the large original medical research papers have been found to be wrong or exaggerated. Professor Jay Babel of New York University points out that science is a human activity, so it can not be avoided that bias is applied in the same way as human decision making.

This is a graph showing how "positive words" and "negative words" in the title of a paper published in Science Journal are used. As you can see that the title rising to the right has emphasized landmark results, in reality no breakthrough results are exploding.

Professor Simain Bajira of the University of California at Davis said, "We will review the remuneration system that evaluates based on the rigor of the research method, not the research results, and the preciseness, in response to the current situation where limited funds are being wasted. It is appealing.

◆ 3: Reproductive crisis
Scientific research is the first result to be fulfilled by the content reproduced by the dissertation being recreated by other scientists. Because it has reproducibility, everyone can utilize its contents, and there is room for application.

However, in recent years there is a problem that the reproducibility of the contents published in the scientific dissertation is significantly reduced.

"Reproducibility" of science is at stake - GIGAZINE

This is because scientists are bothering us with the "publication bias" that scientific journals posting papers prefer more positive articles, and that they want conclusions that bring about dramatic effects There is an indication that.

◆ 4: Collapse of peer review system
Papers submitted to scientific journals are published by other experts to judge whether or not to publishPeer review). By this screening, inappropriate papers are rejected without being posted, and the quality of scientific journals is kept.

However, it is not always easy to find the right people with professional knowledge to conduct Peer Review. Scientists who conduct verification work at Peer Review accept from the sense of mission that they contribute to the advancement of science, but the lack of human resources brings about the delay in the review, even in cases where it is limited to checks without sufficient time There is. And since reviewers are also human beings, there is also a problem that it is difficult to make a decision without a complete bias.

Because conventional peer review is a task premised on publication of paper media in scientific journals, research papers in a perfect state were requested. However, there is an opinion that in the present age in which the Internet is popular, another peer review process should be allowed. According to this, research contents are posted in an open place, checked by being exposed to the eyes of many people, the contents are improved according to the indication, styles that can refer to the process afterwards as history can be considered Already, alreadyArXivPreprint server model like that is starting to be used.

◆ 5: Paywall problem
When scientific papers are published in scientific journals, others will be able to read it and urge scientific progress. However, scientists have opinion that review papers until the publication of paper are too long, so that research pace has to be dropped.

In addition, famous magazines such as Nature, Science, and Cell are structured so that only those who pay expensive subscription fee can view the thesis. Many American research institutions pay scientific journal subscription fees for employees, but not all scientists will benefit from such benefits. Students who acquire a doctorate in Iran's top-level university are in a plight that they are forced to pay a subscription fee of 1000 dollars a week (about 100,000 yen) in order to view necessary articles .

Michael Eisen of the University of California, Berkeley, the setting of too high a subscription fee of a handful of major publishers such as Elsevier continues to acquire small publishers, creating a narrow knowledge layer that occupies knowledge I am criticizing it as something like that. In addition, it also points out that the model that takes expensive subscription fee is a model that publishes academic journals on paper media, and it is not suitable as a model of academic journals on the Internet.

Criticism of many science magazines of such gift principles, activities like "Sci-Hub" to open scientific articles free for free and free access to science have also begun.

Pirated site "Sci-Hub" which makes 47 million research papers readable for "scientific development" for free - GIGAZINE

◆ 6: Public and estranged science
It is very difficult to understand the content of scientific papers accurately, specialized knowledge is indispensable. For this reason, it often happens that misunderstanding is caused when publishing the paper. A doctoral student studying stem cells at the University of New York on the difficulty of having ordinary citizens understand the contents of the paper said, "A person who fully understands the research of one scientist is 10 people on the earth I suppose it should not be ".

In order to convey specialized and difficult research contents, universities and other press releases function as introductions crying out research contents, but one third of press release is exaggerated in research content and science Or that it contains improper expressions such as advice useful for health without well-founded reasons. However, scientists who understand the need to overcome competition to acquire research expenses to produce research results seems not to criticize all such exaggerated expressions.

Furthermore, the existence of a media that sensibly expresses research results is regarded as a problem. As for such a problem that incorrect results are erroneously transmitted to the general public, opinions pointing out the necessity of science education to raise scientific literacy and correcting wrong transmission pointed out by the scientist side The need for establishing a place to announce such a request that is required is appealed.

◆ 7: Stress of young researchers
Many young researchers who completed the doctoral process will continue their research in the position of postdoctoral fellows. This is a preliminary process for getting into a research position at a university, research institution or private company, and it is positioned as a training period as a researcher's egg.

Researchers in postdoctoral researchers often become first authors (first authors), and despite playing an important role in research, there is a present situation that long-term labor can be forced with low wages. A postdoctoral citizen reported that "Many postdoctoral fellows are from the late 20s to early 30s, who are about to start having their families, but it is difficult to balance living due to low wages." In particular, female researchers tend to be hired at a lower wage than male researchers, and it seems that the postdoctoral female researcher who has a desire to have children in the future has a serious problem.

As most of the postdoctoral contract periods are as short as 2 to 3 years, it seems difficult to prepare a paper to be a result that will lead to a research job, so it is said that it is exposed to high stress. There seems to be a postdoctoral fellow who states that continuous stress is crushing talented young talented young researchers.

Because there are few researchers to the number of doctoral degree holders, there are some researchers waiting for the seat vacant as long as postdoctoral for 10 years in some cases. In the doctoral program, because there is hardly any training to work in a private company in a position other than a research position, it is pointed out that it is impossible to take the option of changing the policy and giving up the way of researchers during postdoctoral stays.

According to a survey conducted at the University of California at Berkeley in 2015, 47% of postdocs were found to be in a state of depressed feeling. Pursuing a research job is like selling out the state of mental health.

While solutions for young researchers 'life balance are being considered, the fundamental problem will lead to the shortage of research institutions' chronic research expenditures. For this reason, there is a request to hire postdoctoral cheap at the university, and there is a structure that postdoctories who want to get into a research position somehow are incorporated in weaknesses, unless the major premise of shortage of research funding is resolved, problem solving It looks difficult.

in Science, Posted by darkhorse_log