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From The Scientist: Science is “an elitist sport now”?


Further to peer review is bust (The Economist), a biomedical researcher-turned-writer weighs in with another issue, elitism:

… in the West, we now insist on only hiring scientists who have published in top-tier journals. If you suggest to any of the top institutions that this policy is in place they will vehemently deny it, even though the publication history of their recent hires suggests otherwise. This is also a highly unethical practice as it pretty much excludes most of the world from participating in research at this level. Indeed, according to a conversation I had with the PI of a very well-funded lab in the U.S., to produce enough data to publish in these journals can cost well over $1 million dollars per paper. This is an elitist sport now. “We are an equal opportunity employer” no longer applies. “We employ people who have a science lineage only” seems more appropriate. By that I mean those who have come from wealthy labs who could afford to publish in the journals that are deemed acceptable.

Good luck getting a new but strongly supported theory, accepted only by the proverbial five per cent, a fair trial in an environment of this type. No wonder we keep hearing the same old same old ain’t so.

Not only has it become elitist, it has become a closed club.If you try to publish a contrary view (like ID),not only will the journal editor and the author of articles be ridiculed, they will lose their job, their funding of all legitimate projects will be cancelled and they will be excommunicated (Expelled movie did capture this stark reality). What is really tragic is when you try to introduce new concept in classroom or courseware, the rich club will ask for published papers and will ask you to show experiments and research. When funding dries up, when vehemence is shown to contrarian views, how can scientists put their career in line and work to bring truth to light? selvaRajan

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