The Overproduction of Truth: Passion, Competition, and Integrity in Modern Science

ISBN : 9780198799887

Gianfranco Pacchioni
176 ページ
129 x 196 mm

The way science is done has changed radically in recent years. Scientific research and institutions, which have long been characterized by passion, dedication and reliability, have increasingly less capacity for more ethical pursuits, and are pressed by hard market laws. From the vocation of a few, science has become the profession of many -- possibly too many. These trends come with consequences and risks, such as the rise in fraud, plagiarism, and in particular the sheer volume of scientific publications, often of little relevance. The solution? A slow approach with more emphasis on quality rather than quantity that will help us to rediscover the essential role of the responsible scientist. This work is a critical review and assessment of present-day policies and behavior in scientific production and publication. It touches on the tumultuous growth of scientific journals, in parallel with the growth of self-declared scientists over the world. The author's own reflections and exper


1 No progress without basic science
2 The way we were: make science in the last century
3 Publish or perish
4 Judges and defendants
5 Unit of measurement
6 Are we too many?
7 Famous frauds
8 Do we still believe in science?


Gianfranco Pacchioni is Vice-Rector for Research at the University of Milano Bicocca. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at the Free University of Berlin. He has worked at the IBM Almaden Research Center in California and at the Technical University of Munich. His main interests are theory and electronic structure of oxides (bulk, surface, thin films, nanostructures), supported metal clusters, materials for catalysis, photocatalysis and energy production. Pacchioni has received various awards, including the Nasini Medal and the Pisani Medal of the Italian Chemical Society, the National Prize Federchimica, the Alexander von Humboldt Award, and the Blaise Pascal Medal of the European Academy of Sciences. He is Fellow of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the Academia Europaea, and the European Academy of Sciences.