Eleanor J- A Pressured Industry

This week while reading the chapter A Broken Culture from the book Rigor Mortis, I learned about the sacrifices you must take when entering this risky business, and the pressure of publishing research and collecting data for scientific journals. One of the things I found most interesting about the chapter was how many editors and public figures were upset at how jobs were being chosen based off of where the writers had been published. Gregory Petsko, a professor at the Weill Cornell Medical College states, “A lot of great science gets published in less flashy journals, while crap gets published in the single-word journals”(Pg. 176). This taught me about a subject I had never even thought about, which is if the science you are reading in big name magazines is actually accurate. 

If I happened to be one of the scientists in this certain chapter and I learned about what was happening in the process of publishing and hiring writers for scientific journals, I would definitely speak out and try to find a way to make smaller name journals be noticed for their accurate science. The fact that magazines such as Nature and Cell are getting away with publishing false facts is absolutely insane, and I would try to figure out how to fix the fact that the public are being fed false information. In the media, you can see many articles in scientific journals about topics that you might want to think twice about before believing the information. You might want to take it upon yourself to fact check the articles and see how much you are reading about each day is false in these big name journals. 

Something in the chapter also caught my eye that was particularly astounding. As bad as it is in the United States, it is even worse in other places in the world such as Asia. Randy Schekman states, “The impact factor is sacred. In China its everything”(Pg. 178). In Korea the scientists personal goals are even based on how many publishes they get, in what magazines, and how high their impact factors are. Chinese scientists will also get payed more and collect bonus checks for publishing science into major science journals such as Science, Nature, and Cell

This chapter taught me about the pressures of the publishing industries in science and research, and how even though some research might be false, big companies will publish their work anyway and show it to the public. It is important that this issue is brought to light so people can be aware of what false information they could be reading, and I am glad to know that people are fighting against this issue every day.




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