Misconduct: to Bill & Kathy
robison at lipid.harvard.edu
Wed Dec 27 09:15:46 EST 1995
Alexander Berezin (berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA) wrote:
: Dear Kathy, Bill and others:
: We generally can't do too much to change people. All we
: can't do is to change (improve) the SYSTEM to the point that
: the (partcicular type) of unethical behavior will not be
: of a great ('Darwinian') advantage.
: In scientific research so far the grantsmanship, secrecy, etc
: all encourage this (unethical) type of behaviour as the
: potential rewards of it still outweight the risks.
: To change that, we need to change the reward system.
: For example (no matter how crude this scheme looks), let's
: take the folowing count:
: Professor A ("fat cat"):
: Finding $ 500,000 per year
: Group produces 10 papers per year
: Yield: 1 paper for $ 50,000
: Professor B ("small guy")
: Funding: $ 50,000
: 3 papers per year
: Yield: 1 paper per $ 17,000 (3 times better)
: Present reward system ignores this (the 3 times better
: efficiency) and by all categories (promotions, awards,
: fame, etc) Prof A will be counted as superior, while
: small fish will likely be spit upon.
: Should we take YIELD (cost of paper) as a prime parameter,
: the reward system will be immensely better and more
: efficient. (I can foresee all the screams of "fat cats"
: on such a proposals: of course, it is possible to improve
: it beyond simple paper counting, but even the above would be
: a step forward).
Now you are descending into self-parody! Under such a system, the
drive to publish lots of weak papers is immensely increased. Rather
than some abstract perceived correlation between paper production and
funding, you've made a concrete linkage!
Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology
Department of Genetics / HHMI
robison at mito.harvard.edu
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