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State of the Art - Wissenschaftsmanagement für Institute, Hochschulen und Forschung

Wissenschaftsmanagement special Ausgabe 2/2013

Why isn’t science better? Look at career incentives

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Jahrgang 2016
Ausgabe 6/2016
Paul Smaldin

INCENTIVE IN SCIENCE

Why isn’t science better? Look at career incentives

Paul Smaldino, Assistant Professor of Cognitive and Information Sciences, University of California, Merced

There are often substantial gaps between the idealized and actual versions of those people whose work involves providing a social good. Government officials are supposed to work for their constituents. Journalists are supposed to provide unbiased reporting and penetrating analysis. And scientists are supposed to relentlessly probe the fabric of reality with the most rigorous and skeptical of methods. All too often, however, what should be just isn’t so. In a number of scientific fields, published findings turn out not to replicate, or to have smaller effects than, what was initially purported. Plenty of science does replicate – meaning the experiments turn out the same way when you repeat them – but the amount that doesn’t is too much for comfort.