The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists
by Julia Belluz, Brad Plumer, and Brian Resnick on July 14, 2016

Explore the biggest challenges facing science, and how we can fix them:

Academia has a huge money problem

Too many studies are poorly designed

Replicating results is crucial — and rare

Peer review is broken

Too much science is locked behind paywalls

Science is poorly communicated

Life as a young academic is incredibly stressful

To that end, here are some broad suggestions:

One: Science has to acknowledge and address its money problem. Science is enormously valuable and deserves ample funding. But the way incentives are set up can distort research.

Two: Science needs to celebrate and reward failure. Accepting that we can learn more from dead ends in research and studies that failed would alleviate the “publish or perish” cycle. It would make scientists more confident in designing robust tests and not just convenient ones, in sharing their data and explaining their failed tests to peers, and in using those null results to form the basis of a career (instead of chasing those all-too-rare breakthroughs).

Three: Science has to be more transparent. Scientists need to publish the methods and findings more fully, and share their raw data in ways that are easily accessible and digestible for those who may want to reanalyze or replicate their findings.