World View

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  • World View |

    Growth-at-any-cost economics has health costs, a reality the COVID-19 pandemic brings into sharp relief. Governments must manage the tension between economics and health, but they should not stray from their original mandate to protect people. Too much dependence on the private sector weakened pandemic response, argues Susan Erikson.

    • Susan Erikson
  • World View |

    The stock market provides a view of what investors expect for the future. It is precisely in complex situations such as the COVID-19 outbreak that the prescience of the market is particularly valuable, argues Alexander F. Wagner.

    • Alexander F. Wagner
  • World View |

    In the current absence of medical treatment and vaccination, the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic can only be brought under control by massive and rapid behaviour change. To achieve this we need to systematically monitor and understand how different individuals perceive risk and what prompts them to act upon it, argues Cornelia Betsch.

    • Cornelia Betsch
  • World View |

    The human tendency to impose a single interpretation in ambiguous situations carries huge dangers in addressing COVID-19. We need to search actively for multiple interpretations, and governments need to choose policies that are robust if their preferred theory turns out to be wrong, argues Nick Chater.

    • Nick Chater
  • World View |

    The global practice of monetizing ecosystems to further national economic development has laid fertile ground for the COVID-19 pandemic and others like it, writes Cobus van Staden.

    • Cobus van Staden
  • World View |

    Religious restrictions on the scientific teaching of evolution have no place in a balanced society, writes Mohammed Alassiri.

    • Mohammed Alassiri
  • World View |

    Mandating publications for graduation places a poor metric on PhD students’ skills and has detrimental effects on PhD training, argues Sharif Moradi, an Assistant Professor at the Royan Institute in Tehran; committees and future employers should focus on the many other skills that PhD students master.

    • Sharif Moradi
  • World View |

    Publications are often considered a hard currency for evaluating PhD students by graduation committees and funders alike. Anne-Marie Coriat of the Wellcome Trust calls for a change in how PhDs are assessed, placing more emphasis on other aspects of training.

    • Anne-Marie Coriat
  • World View |

    The pressure for scholarly publications creates a culture of knowledge silos, argues postdoctoral Fellow Sandra Obradović. If young researchers were also taught to explain research to a general audience, this would not only help their careers, but also bring science into society.

    • Sandra Obradović
  • World View |

    A monograph is an entirely outdated requirement in an age when publications and presentations are used as a measure of PhD students’ performance in all other settings, argues Mark Martin Jensen, a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering. It’s time to replace dissertations with something useful.

    • Mark Martin Jensen
  • World View |

    PhD students produce more than publications; they create a wealth of resources as a means to their research. Matt Crump, Associate Professor at the City University of New York, argues that PhDs should share these resources as portfolios that demonstrate their skills and to benefit the scientific community.

    • Matthew J. C. Crump
  • World View |

    Hannah Hobson, a Lecturer at the University of York, published a Registered Report as part of her PhD and explains how this decision took the stress out of publication and brought the joy back into data collection.

    • Hannah Hobson
  • World View |

    Priti Mulimani, a health-care professional and PhD student, highlights how pressure to publish in high-impact journals that are biased towards research on Western populations obstructs pivotal research on the majority of the world’s population.

    • Priti Mulimani
  • World View |

    Recent changes in China’s research infrastructure have led to a rapid acceleration of the scientific process and increased pressure on all involved, argues Xiaopeng Li. The number of PhD graduates exceeds positions, and only structural innovations will ensure that PhDs can build careers in new sectors.

    • Xiaopeng Li
  • World View |

    Brazil’s university landscape has undergone dramatic changes in recent decades, leading to increased pressure to publish despite stripped resources. Elisa Jordão argues that this makes it all the more important to educate the public about the value of scientific research and education.

    • Elisa Mari Akagi Jordão
  • World View |

    Many PhD students have no intention of remaining in academia, and outdated university curricula do them a disservice by not offering training for careers in industry, argues Kyle Isaacson, a PhD student in biomedical engineering.

    • Kyle J. Isaacson
  • World View |

    PhD students and early career researchers are severely underfunded, explains Yuki Yamada, an Associate Professor in Psychology. Paired with biased selection criteria and unreasonable demands, this not only harms Japan’s young scientists, but presents a threat to academia itself.

    • Yuki Yamada
  • World View |

    The Max Planck Society represents a unique place for principal investigators, but its benefits are not necessarily reaped by the students, argue the Max Planck PhDnet Survey Group. Policy changes, however, could alleviate publication and other pressures for students.

    • Charley M. Wu
    • , Benjamin Regler
    • , Felix K. Bäuerle
    • , Martin Vögele
    • , Laura Einhorn
    • , Sofia Elizarova
    • , Stefanie Förste
    • , Justin Shenolikar
    •  & Jana Lasser
  • World View |

    The need to publish should not lead to despair. Based on her personal experiences of great mentorship, bioethicist Anke Snoek argues that early, supervised involvement in the publication process can spark a love for publishing that alleviates its pressures.

    • Anke Snoek
  • World View |

    Based on her interviews with senior academics, Taya Collyer, a PhD student in health research, reflects on how academic evaluation that values quantity over quality pervasively harms the scientific endeavour, leading even successful academics to retrospectively question research decisions.

    • Taya A. Collyer
  • World View |

    Evaluating PhD students by their publications may have the outward appearance of a meritocracy, but as long as students from minority groups do not enjoy the same privileges as their peers, the playing field is anything but level, argues Alon Zivony.

    • Alon Zivony
  • World View |

    Unless science-communication is valued as much as journal articles, fundamentally important scientific insights, for example, on climate change, will not reach the people that are most affected, argues Abhishek Kar.

    • Abhishek Kar
  • World View |

    Publishing novel, eye-grabbing results is rewarded in academia; whether publishing robust replications will be rewarded by graduation committees and future employers is yet to be determined. Andrea Stoevenbelt calls on committees to consider how different publications are weighed on candidates’ CVs.

    • Andrea H. Stoevenbelt
  • World View |

    Young scientists are deterred from conducting pivotal science on topics essential to societal progress by the pressure to publish in high-tier journals that neglect and marginalise these issues, argue Marginalia Science, a group dedicated to further scientific diversity.

    • Pia Dietze
    • , Ana Gantman
    • , H. Hannah Nam
    •  & Laura Niemi
  • World View |

    Comparing the experiences of students at Menzies Institute, PhD student Fan Li reflects on the importance of publications across disciplines, but argues that these should not detract from the benefits of PhD training.

    • Fan Li
  • World View |

    Many PhD students are enthusiastic about robust scientific practices, but afraid that ‘doing good science’ will jeopardize their chances on the job market, argues Felix Schönbrodt, Managing Director of the LMU Open Science Center. Aligning incentives and preparing students for a job market that values contributions to Open Science will be key.

    • Felix Schönbrodt
  • World View |

    Setting publication targets for students is corrosive for scientific culture and instils the wrong values in PhD students, argues Nick Yeung. A culture shift in PhD student evaluation criteria is needed, away from publications as the key proxy for student success.

    • Nick Yeung
  • World View |

    Each route to graduation is an individual journey. Friedrich M. Götz, a PhD student in Psychology, argues that there are no ready-made recipes or silver bullets for success. While publications are important, the stress of producing them should not overshadow the joys of the journey.

    • Friedrich M. Götz
  • World View |

    Deepshikha Chatterjee, an Assistant Professor in Organisational Psychology, argues that noncitizen scientists in the US are structurally disadvantaged in a system that offers them fewer opportunities in training but later measures them against their citizen peers as if both groups had started on a level playing field.

    • Deepshikha Chatterjee
  • World View |

    The pressure to outperform others can gradually lead PhD students to believe their academic achievements define who they are, argues PhD student Toby Bartle; he calls on his peers to focus on learning—not achievement—and never lose track of their identities.

    • Toby Bartle
  • World View |

    Graduate students suffer from publication fever, the all-encompassing feeling that they need to publish at all costs, argues Michel Landgrave. This single-minded focus puts them at risk of exploitation and increases hostility among peers. But great mentorship offers a way out.

    • Michelangelo Landgrave
  • World View |

    The pressure to publish during PhD training is only the beginning of a career in an environment that places intractable expectations on academics, argues Jennifer Lavers, a Lecturer in Marine Science; unrealistic demands to excel in publications, grants and outreach lead even outwardly successful academics to question their career choices.

    • Jennifer L. Lavers
  • World View |

    A culture of publication-worship unwittingly incentivizes questionable scientific practices and gluts the economy of scientific papers, argues Ava Kiai. To protect trust in science, we must focus on methodological rigour, rather than publishability.

    • Ava Kiai
  • World View |

    Despite advances in the understanding of gender identity, healthcare delivery to transgender or non-binary individuals remains woefully lacking. Joshua Safer discusses how improvements in education of healthcare providers, advancements in electronic medical record systems and efforts to address economic barriers are all integral to the provision of optimal care for transgender individuals.

    • Joshua D. Safer
  • World View |

    Despite existing civil rights laws, legal protection for transgender people against discrimination in the USA is inconsistent. Catherine Lhamon discusses the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ findings on how the transgender community is subject to unlawful discrimination in schools, workplaces, healthcare and the military.

    • Catherine Lhamon
  • World View |

    Policy measures introduced in the UK to tackle female genital mutilation have led to the first successful prosecution and conviction, but at the cost of criminalisation of affected communities. Without better engagement of communities, argues Naana Otoo-Oyortey, we will fail to safeguard the mental and physical health of girls who are at risk of female genital mutilation.

    • Naana Otoo-Oyortey
  • World View |

    The term ‘women of colour’ was introduced as a symbol of political solidarity, but its evolution to a biological term encompassing all non-white women has resulted in aggregation of data from diverse ethnic groups. Breaking out statistics by race, ethnicity and gender is therefore crucial for researchers who are committed to inclusion, argues Rhonda V. Sharpe.

    • Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe
  • World View |

    Brazil has a long history of important scientific discoveries that have contributed to the overall wealth and well-being of the country. Paulo Boggio argues that these can only be sustained if the government stops cutting the research and education budget and starts investing in human intellect and science.

    • Paulo Sérgio Boggio
  • World View |

    Populist politicians—a diverse bunch that include business tycoons, academics and even comedians—are winning elections in Europe and beyond. Jan Zielonka discusses the reasons underlying the rise of populism and how liberals must appeal to the younger generation and regain voters’ trust.

    • Jan Zielonka
  • World View |

    Open educational resources enable the effective use and sharing of knowledge with those who have been denied an education due to economic or social circumstances. Sarita Kumar outlines how open educational resources can benefit education systems across the Global South by opening up an entire generation to new ideas, technologies and advancements.

    • Sarita Kumar
  • World View |

    There has been a divide between scientists making recommendations for sustainable natural resource development and the community living around those resources. Masami Nakagawa argues that the community should be considered first, as the successful development of sustainable natural resources requires their cooperation and trust.

    • Masami Nakagawa
  • World View |

    Communications technology, such as messaging services and social media, can be used to prevent the dissemination of independent information, and misinformation can be used to spread hatred and incite violence. However, argues John Green Otunga, it is possible to harness the power of information and communications technology to help prevent conflict.

    • John Green Otunga
  • World View |

    Despite opprobrium from the scientific community, the creation of the first CRISPR babies by germline genome editing has led to a debate more about execution than intent. We need public education, engagement and empowerment to reach ‘broad societal consensus’ on whether, not how, to pursue heritable genome editing, argues Françoise Baylis.

    • Françoise Baylis
  • World View |

    There is a widespread misconception that drug use is rife in the US–Mexico border area, particularly in Mexican states. But with a dirth of available epidemiological data, we have to be careful about the conclusions we draw, argues Guilherme Borges.

    • Guilherme Borges
  • World View |

    Learning analytics is a novel educational research approach that uses data to help us understand and improve the learning process. Xavier Ochoa explains how Latin America is the perfect showcase for all that learning analytics has to offer in the arena of education.

    • Xavier Ochoa
  • World View |

    Although global spending in response to humanitarian crises is growing, humanitarian assistance is under threat from political, economic and security sources. To protect the principles of humanitarian assistance, we must ensure that it remains neutral, impartial and independent, argues Johan von Schreeb.

    • Johan von Schreeb
  • World View |

    People who have abortions have been silenced in a way that impoverishes our abortion debate, says Katie Watson.

    • Katie Watson