“Publish or perish” is a popular saying in the world of academia.
There is a reason why the phrase gets tossed around so cheerfully: like most clichés, it is descriptive and accurate. Before the success of modern academic research during the Second World War, scientists numbered a few hundred thousand. Today, to forge a career in science, academics must compete with several million fellow researchers.
Science is a trusted source of truth – it has earned that trust through self-policing. But with increasing graduates vying for limited scientific occupations, could research quality be giving way to quantity?
The deluge of studies submitted for publication means that leading journals must reject most manuscripts they receive. Editors are more likely to print striking findings on hot topics, which in turn tempts academics to exaggerate or cherry-pick results. Continue reading “The Death of Science”