People will not trust unkind science

Last month, Professor Gail Cardew, EuroScience Vice-President, wrote an article for Nature.

Below we have collected a few excerpts, the entire article can be accessed here

“Earlier this month, a survey from Wellcome in London confirmed that unkindness, and worse, is pervasive in science. Academic leaders expressed alarm — both for the health of young researchers and for how such pressure could erode the quality of science. I think there is more to worry about.

What hope is there for those in science to build a trusting and respectful relationship with the public when so many scientists are schooled in a culture lacking these qualities?

Professor Cardew writes “Unkindness in science saddens me for many reasons. Obviously, I feel for the devoted researchers who began their careers expecting to revel in the joy of discovery, only to find their love of the subject squeezed out, replaced by fear and anxiety. It also saddens me because I’ve witnessed some of this toxic culture spill out of the laboratory, into scientists’ dealings with the public.
If we want to build trust in science and scientists, it is not enough to think about ‘what’ we achieve; we must think about ‘how’ we influence those around us”.

By Prof. Gail Cardew
EuroScience Vice-President

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