Research nowadays is fixated with the notion of generating “high impact” work. “High impact” work is published in “high impact” journals and funding bodies are looking for “high impact” proposals to support. An appealing comparison can be drawn with the world of music, which has its own synonym for the phrase.
In medicine, especially battlefield medicine, the triage system is used to ensure that time is apportioned in the most efficient manner possible. Adopting a similar system might make assessments in science more satisfactory, and fairer. Continue reading →
Fake news has been getting a lot of airtime recently, particularly in the wake of the American presidential election. There’s been much hand-wringing about how best to deal with the phenomenon, but the likelihood is that academics already have the solution.
Alchemists of the Middle Ages sought to discover the Philosopher’s Stone – a miraculous substance capable of transmuting base metals (e.g. lead) into noble ones (e.g. gold). Alchemy of a different kind goes on nowadays in scientific laboratories, but its goal is broadly the same – transforming undergraduates and postgraduates into mature scientists. Continue reading →