Tag Archives: Culture

Ethics, values and culture driving research

This issue will dive into the darkest corner of what scientific minds are capable of contriving to get to the goal of being funded and progressing in their career. By reading this special issue, you will find out the damage inflicted on science by scientists neglecting to follow the very essence of scientific endeavour, based on integrity. One lesson is clear. Regardless of personal responsibility, it is essential to examine the failings of the scientific process in the context of the values and the culture influencing scientists. Read more [...]

Gaming the system: who is responsible?

Blaming increase in fraud and unethical behaviour observed in science on a lack of rigour among the emerging ranks of PhDs may appear blatantly reductionist and reactionary. In fact, some might argue that we have been looking and detecting misconduct more systematically than ever before. At the same time, there is a growing movement to raise awareness of scientists’ responsibilities and better equip them to face the pressures to publish more and seek extra funding. Yet, scientists do not exist in a vacuum. They are the product of an educational and research system with values that heavily influences their choices. Read more [...]

Publish or perish: an incitement to fraudulence

More than 120 papers have been withdrawn from subscription databases of two high-profile publishers, IEEE and Springer, because they were computer generated thanks to the SCIgen software designed to generate random computer science research papers. The trouble is that they had no meaning at all. All of them were labelled as peer reviewed and all of them were published in proceedings of actual conferences. Read more [...]

Is the culture of research encouraging good science?

A quick look at the back catalogue of the EuroScientist provides an illustration of the wide range of issues that affect the working lives of scientists today. Previous articles have covered research evaluation, the open access movement, career structures and responsible innovation, among many others. These issues are often dealt with individually—and rightly so given their complexity. But considered as a whole, they help to make up a culture. And scientists must work within this culture to do what they set out to do: usually, to produce high quality, ethical research that is of benefit to society. Read more [...]

Science Communication: putting the cart before the horse

A Danish research project on the so-called Nordic diet has raised concern about new trends in the way science is being communicated to the wider public, through untimely PR campaigns. The example of the OPUS Research Centre at University of Copenhagen, Denmark, stands out. This centre aims to investigate whether public health is likely to improve in Denmark, by renewing the Danish culinary culture. The trouble is that it started its promotional activities before any research findings had been published. Read more [...]

Shrinking humans: an artist’s perspective on the sustainability challenge

The Incredible Shrinking Man is a speculative project that investigates the implications of downsizing the human species to better address the demands on the Earth. It has been a long established trend for people to grow taller. As a direct result we need more resources, more food, more energy and more space. At the dawn of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, an estimated 5 million people lived on Earth. Read more [...]

The abuse of Science

In the past few years, several scientists he have become a lightning-rod for the environmental and the anti-big business movements, while ignoring any scientific shortcomings others might highlight in their studies. Indeed, their popularity has grown outside scientific circles to the point that they are now paraded almost as scientific proof that science itself is wrong. Increasingly, there are more and more European instances where ideology triumphs over scientific rationale. Enters the new post-modern Sociology of Science, which soothingly offers cultural reasons for why some scientific proposals and conclusions are unacceptable to citizens. Read more [...]

Can national culture influence success in open innovation?

Cultural differences among nations are not to be taken lightly. Especially, when it comes to innovation. A debate related to the influence of culture on innovation started in the 1980s’. We now live in a world where globalisation and international collaboration increasingly shape research and innovation. It is still difficult to gauge how the advent of open innovation will be influenced by national cultures. Even though the jury is still out on this debate, one thing is certain: open innovation is not happening in a vacuum. Read more [...]

One World, One Lab: science meets culture in Vietnam

I want to learn what makes scientists tick. And what is important in their lives. I found some answers at the Agricultural Genetics Institute, in Hanoi, Vietnam. This is the first of a documentary series, called One World One Lab, featuring scientists from eight different countries around the world. This video is a window into the research world, which is not about complex research data. Instead, it is about culture, street life, religion and all the strange and tasty foods. Read more [...]

Part-time managers in Europe: culture and gender matter

Achieving a work-life balance is a challenge for many people working today. Yet, the idea of a shorter working week is undergoing something of a revival. Part-time work can, in principle, contribute to calming down the ‘rush hour of life’. However, it is not always a possible. This is particularly the case for people in management positions. The proportion of managers working part-time varies considerably across countries. Our multilevel analyses show that it is cultural factors and normative expectations rather than legal regulations, which explain these differences. Read more [...]

Cultural trip around the laboratories of the world

I wanted to find out the answers to many cultural questions about my international research colleagues. So I left the lab, jumped on a plane and started a trip around the world to meet all those scientists in their own countries, in their own labs. The project is called One World One Lab. My plan is to visit eight developing and developed countries with different cultures, different religions and different political systems. I am travelling with a backpack, a camcorder and hundreds of questions... Read more [...]