The 7 Biggest Problems Facing Science, According to 270 Scientists

In recent years, the public has turned an interested eye to science like never before. In part this is due to a few movies that have made the public more aware of how interesting science really is, but each scientist may look at his or her lab notebook in frustration more often than not. That is because there are some huge problems in the way of scientific advancement.

Scientific notebook

  1. Negative Results Are Not Encouraged. The true process of science involves learning from negative results as much as positive ones. In fact, it’s the negative results that tend to raise the most questions. However, scientists who turn up these results are often left without funding or encouragement, and, negative results or not, replication is almost never done.
  2. Funding Is Limited. One scientist says that about ¾ of the funding used to pay faculty is gained through grant distribution. Grant distribution is often done based on publication. This means scientists who have not been published may not be approved for new projects. They might also be looked over if the review team does not find the project to be edgy enough.
  3. There Is Often a Conflict of Interest. Though most grants come from the government, others come from industry leaders. When those leaders fund their own projects, they are looking for results that reflect well on their particular industry, which can limit the true science involved.
  4. Publication Is Key. Scientists need to get published in order to continue to receive funding, but not all studies are accepted for publication. On top of the limited amount of room for published studies is the fact that organizations want to publish things that are statistically significant. Even key research is sometimes overlooked in favor of something that does more for statistics. Peer review is also an issue that impacts publication.
  5. Study Designs Are of Poor Quality. When you are in a hurry to get your work published, some accurate study designs get overlooked in favor of faster designs. Some scientists are so worried about funding and results that they are afraid to review their own work.
  6. Access Is Limited. Part of the issue is the fact that even when studies are published, they are too expensive to access. The average reader does not want to pay the high prices that are attached to the publications which carry studies.
  7. Hype Science Is Not Helpful. Though the interest in science has increased because of movies and television shows, it is not helpful to science when the public bases their view on those of celebrities. In fact, that just pushes science toward uncovering what is popular, rather than what is most helpful or meaningful. There are very few studies that are groundbreaking, but the public wants a steady flow of them.

Some of this might explain why a scientist would clench his laboratory notebook in frustration. With less money, more hype, and so many problems in between, it is getting more difficult to focus on some of the studies that might have the most important results for mankind as a whole. For more information on science and science supplies such as laboratory notebooks, visit SNCO today.

Lab notebooks

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