Science needs myths to thrive - Deepstash

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Commitment to the truth

Commitment to the truth

The drive to publish and measure outcomes may mean that researchers are under pressure to cut corners.

For scientific research to be successful in the long term, researchers need a strong set of values, including a commitment to the truth. The best way of instilling these values is through the stories and myths we tell ourselves.

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The power of stories

One of the oldest stories of great deeds is the ancient Greek Iliad of Homer. The story explores the value of a warrior and leader and the consequences of pride and anger.

Scientists also have stories about remarkable people and significant events in science, such as the discovery of penicillin, and uncovering the structure of DNA. These stories help young scientists understand the benefits of research that go beyond personal advancement and success.

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The future of science

Research has changed since the 20th century. Physiologists used to build their own equipment and had only a few people working in their teams.

Nowadays, to succeed, you must win big grants and build up a research team. Although the industrialization of science is necessary, we haven't adapted the way in which we instill the ethics and values of science and research into young researchers. With a commitment to the truth, scientists should also ensure accurate representations of reality that reflect the collective endeavor.

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