Rethinking Research

Note to my future self…

Research in academia has to change. To me it seems like such an inefficient process that’s not only ripe for disruption but also ready for a realignment of incentives. This became particularly clear after watching this interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

If someone reading this is not familiar with the “grievance studies” hoax led by Peter Boghossian, Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, I would encourage you to read this article to gain some context. The short story is that these three researchers submitted over +20 articles to various peer-reviewed journals (several of which got published and one even won an award) but the papers where completely made up. The stories are wild so I would encourage you to read more about it but the takeaway is clear: we can and we should do a lot better.

The problem exposed in this hoax relates to political correctness but there are countless of other problems plaguing research at higher institutions including super slow speed for publishing papers, pay-to-play schemes, and so on.

Right now this isn’t an area that I am involved in but it’s something that I definitely want to get back to at some point in my life. Imagine how much more progress we could be making across the natural, social science and humanities if we rethought the systems and incentives that define academic research. Increasing the accessibility of this research while preserving the rigor necessary to conduct good research is a super interesting challenge that I think deserves a lot more attention and hopefully it get more attention in the years to come.

Now back to work..