Science is no longer a profession but it has become a ‘carriere’. And a very popular one; only 20 to 30 percent of the phd-students who aspire to work as scientists in the future succeed. There is simply not enough space to place them all. This is one of the interesting observations that Lex Bouter, professor of Methodology and Integrity (VU University), makes in this NRC newspaper interview (Dutch language) on the problems of science today.
Bouter is worried about the extent to which science has become more and more competitive. Hyper-competition, so he explains, can easily trigger irresponsible or dubious behavior on the side of scientists. Bouter argues that while newspapers seem to be most interested in strong cases such as fraud, it is actually ’sloppy research’ that does the most damage to science’s inner workings and quest for knowledge.
Note that prof. Bouter is also one of the organizers of the 5th World Congres on Research Integrity and chair of NRIN.
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