I just came across this new initiative. I like the enthusiasm and broad aims of this project. It will be interesting to see how it develops.
The process of Science has experienced a significant amount of change in its management during the last few decades. Academic metrics of uncertain validity, short-term jobs for young researchers, short-sighted funding deadlines… came into the picture to become topics of common informal discussion within researchers’ inner circles.
Some would question whether the current peculiarities of academia discourage scientific progress. Peculiarities that arose from unsupervised historical evolution, like in so many other human social structures. But how can we determine whether our current academic system needs to be revised or even changed?
We argue that we should approach this question in the same way we approach everything else in Science: through careful scientific studies published in peer-reviewed journals. That is something we have.
The field of Sociology of Science has developed analyses of the social trends within the academic world, allowing for fact-based evaluations and accurate predictions. Analyses that do not reach the scientists they speak about, remaining in their separate world.
Our mission is to bring both worlds together to create a space that elevates commonplace informal back-and-forth to a well-informed discussion among experts, arranged in a formal conference.
In order to ensure the feasibility of the project, the conference we propose will focus on the field of theoretical high energy physics; and in order to ascertain the common will to support our initiative, we open a crowd-funding call to allocate the necessary budget.
We believe that such an event could be the trigger needed to kick-start a positive change in the historical development of all of Science, bringing encouragement for future generations to continue making progress together.