Here’s one way to break the rules in research:
- Be a woman in a male-dominated field.
- Have a big, easy-to-explain framework that purports to explain and predict what legions of your fellow researchers (and pundits) have struggled to explain and predict for decades.
It isn’t just citations, and it isn’t just where you’ve been published, and it isn’t just about being fresh and accurate and right. Those might feed into it. But first: It’s who you can talk with and why they listen to you.…Read More
Goop is not the problem. Goop is the symptom. Until we understand the problem and how to speak to it constructively, we are just making things worse.
Unfortunately, we in the research world do not seem to be learning this lesson.…Read More
What would change if all research papers were open access?
If we think about this just in terms of access (and not, say, ability to organize and peer-review outside journal structures, which might provide small but non-trivial benefits):
- People in resource-constrained institutions and situations would now have access to all papers.
Authorities know and apply that knowledge credibly, sharing the application habitually and liberally with others it might benefit, building a relationship of trust.
Implicit in that application of knowledge is POV and the risk of focusing your and others’ attention — on the issue, the problem, the solution set.…Read More
Watching pundits deploy other people’s research is like watching kids play with lit M80s: the best outcome to hope for is that nothing bad happens and it’s over quickly. Every other outcome is much, much worse.
Which is to say: Bret Stephens’ recent column for The New York Times citing a discredited study (cowritten by at least one author with white nationalist sympathies) advancing (as the Times’ correction put it) “a genetic hypothesis for the basis of intelligence” among Ashkenazi Jews is exceptional only in the stupidity of its cherry-picked research, not the fact that it cherry picked.…Read More
Yesterday I outlined the first of two subtle ways the bio of Jessica Hellmann, director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, inverts the normal research bio to position her as a strong leader.
The first inversion: for leaders, research achievement is about impact, not journals.…Read More
I’ve worked for more than 20 years with researchers as a communications and marketing professional. I’ve heard every complaint both sides could make about the other — and probably so have you. For me, the usual stereotypes (marketers are fluffy idiots, scientists are literal idiots) stopped being amusing years ago.…Read More
I’m fascinated by the recent study in Science that argues the medieval Roman Catholic Church’s prohibitions against incest were crucial in laying the foundation for “individualism, nonconformity, and the inclination to trust and help strangers,” traits the authors associate with the evolution of “WEIRD” societies — western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic.…Read More