Just look at some of the issues:
● Why does a person who is University of North Carolina research chief need plagiarism?:
Developmental geneticist Terry Magnuson has resigned as vice-chancellor for research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after a federal investigation found evidence of plagiarism in one of his National Institutes of Health grant applications. p1 Magnuson agreed to step down from his position days after the investigation was publicly disclosed, admitting that he copied online text into a grant application, according to Times Higher Education. Retraction Watch reports that today (March 11) is his last day in the post.Natalie Mesa, “UNC Research Chief Admits to Plagiarism, Resigns” at The Scientist (March 11, 2022)
It’s getting to the point where mere machines can generate drivel (autobabble). Should a person have a high research a position who cannot generate ideas that make a difference? Or are we missing something?
● Discrimination on the basis of ethnicity: Journals, we are told, are being pressured to ban Russian authors because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many research organizations swiftly cut funding and collaboration ties with Russia. But the moves have sparked debate over whether Russian scientists should be able to publish in international journals. Some argue that a boycott is morally correct and could help end the war, but many journals say that indiscriminately isolating Russia’s scientists would do more harm than good.Holly Else, “Ukrainian researchers pressure journals to boycott Russian authors” at Nature (March 14, 2022)
If those scientists have anything useful to say, the world will not be better off for not knowing it. And why should we assume that all those scientists agree with Putin? Will you stand with some of them while they tell Putin they don’t?
Again, if that’s not right, what are we missing?
● And who are we supposed to be punishing?:
CERN has taken a resolution which suspends the creation of new collaborations with Russian institutions and scientists. That is fair enough – I may even agree to this kind of going in a stand-by state. But what is ongoing cannot be undone without serious damage to all involved parties. There are hundreds of Russian colleagues who are just as sorry as we are for the recent events in Ukraine, if not more. Many of those colleagues have even signed a letter that condemns the actions of their government, and in so doing they have exposed themselves to the risk of being fired, or even inprisoned. And what is our attitude now – do we stop working with them? What do we think we are going to achieve by cutting ties with people who, exactly like us, consider the progress of human knowledge their mission in life?Tommaso Dorigo, “Cancel Culture In Science?” at Science 2.0 (March 11, 2022)
Let’s just hope wiser heads prevail in planning a response to Putin’s aggression. If he doesn’t care about those scientists, we aren’t hurting him. Just them.