Academia is more difficult than ever for young scientists. That’s bad for them, and bad for science
The research enterprise sometimes keeps scientists from pursuing the best ideas: intense competition forces researchers to prioritize publishing papers over tackling important questions. A special issue explores the problems facing early and mid-career scientists, and how to solve them.
Demand for steady output stymies discovery. To pursue the most important research, scientists must be allowed to shift their focus, say Tolu Oni and colleagues.
Scientific quality is hard to define, and numbers are easy to look at. But bibliometrics are warping science — encouraging quantity over quality. Leaders at two research institutions describe how they do things differently.
Scientists starting labs say that they are under historically high pressure to publish, secure funding and earn permanent positions — leaving precious little time for actual research.
Young researchers are having to fight harder than past generations for a smaller share of the academic pie.
Three advocates explain how their groups are trying to improve junior researchers' experiences.