Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Networks of like-minded researchers effectively excluding newcomers

As a young academic, and hence self-named newcomer to science, I was moved from the chair by some comments by The Institute of Physics in its submission to the UK Parliamentary Committee.  Expressing its views on the disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, IOP thinks that the case "illustrate the possibility of networks of like-minded researchers effectively excluding newcomers". If this could happen in a large, prestigious and mature field as Earth Science, I fear the worst for smaller, less prestigious and immature scientific fields.

I never finished reading my copy of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Kuhn. Maybe this is a good time to continue the reading and reflect on the role of newcomers in paradigm shifts.

NOTE: Times talks about this here