R&D Reform Project: Request for Submissions – Good Science Project

For decades, there have been calls for making our R&D research enterprise more efficient. Whether it be how dollars are awarded, the burden on scientists, or the lack of priority setting at many agencies, there is always room for improvement. To improve everything from economic growth, to human health and wellbeing, to national security, we need a wholesale reconsideration of policies and practices to reinvigorate R&D in the United States.

We want to publish a series of 3–4-page papers that include actionable steps that can be taken by government leaders. We want to provide detailed plans of action on how an important idea for R&D reform could be implemented.

Here is where you come in. The first step is to write a single paragraph that details an evidence-based R&D reform that you believe will make government work better. If we like your idea, we’ll work with you on a full-fledged policy brief.

By sourcing a wide range of proposals, we want to provide government leaders in the executive and legislative branches with a comprehensive package of ready-to-implement policies, designed to make our R&D machine more effective.

Thank you very much, Gavin!

What about shifting away from a (merely) bibliometric-based ranking of scientific research to another that thoroughly evaluates the quality in per se ipsa re of a research after a perusal? There is a number of official authorities that are currently pioneering such an approach… We may take our early conclusions about it, and extrapolate valuable insights for a better knowledge…

If we aimed to foster scientific research in such a manner that has both elements of a democratic access to valuable opportunities and (elements of) an exponentially growing up system, there is room to discuss about the convenience to appreciate preprints and other rapidly shared medias to share knowledge in a broad sense, thus going beyond the conventional but slow-paced process of any peer-reviewed research. We are used to know that preprints or the like have lesser dignity than other instruments to share knowledge (and I must confess that I am still anchored to this prejudice), although they contribute to rapidly nudge on the frontier of human knowledge a little further. We may overcome this prejudice if we beared in mind that: we are researchers, we are not childish infants seeking for easy-to-chew data, we constantly exercise critical thinking to thoroughly recognize whether a scientific discovery deserves its consideration or it is flawed. I apologize for this following bizarre statement, but scientific research could be somewhat similar to gambling, and this allows us to pool risks and opportunities in a standardized fashion. Say, 5 preprints may be equal to 1 peer-reviewed article, and then hold this rule for those who are still in-training researchers (or above).

We may also accept that institutional authorities settle an array of (changing over time every 5-7 years?) rules to abide by if it bolsters a broader data and information sharing at a global level in the long-run. Probably we could not a priori exclude it to happen at the cost of market regulation for several channels and/or medias if it fuels an emerging cultural industry (when there are mainstream doctrines that unfairly exploit their initial advantage).

We citizens must hope that someone takes inspiration from our ideas and commits to translating them into reality.