7 steps to restore trust in science – step 2

February 18, 2010

  1. Communicate about the process of science as well as the content [previous post]
  2. Make research outputs available to all for free. The cost of access to the scientific literature is barrier for many to engage directly with research, and this has the effect of making science appear as a closed world. People outside of the research community, even those that have a strong education in science, are not able to make their own judgements about controversial subjects, but have to rely on secondary sources. The publishing model for science is from the age of Gutenberg, but we are in the age of Berners-Lee. Of course the costs of publishing scientific research need to be paid for, but surely there is a better business model than ‘pay to access’, especially now that the costs of delivery (in electronic format) are so low?
  3. Publish negative results and unsuccessful experiments too
  4. Publish peer review comments with research outputs
  5. Attach a summary for non-experts to research outputs
  6. Make raw data available as early as possible
  7. Use new technology to open research conferences to all
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8 Responses to “7 steps to restore trust in science – step 2”

  1. James Hayton Says:

    I agree this is a problem, but I also think the vast majority will always look to secondary sources for digested science reports. For me, I think it’s the reliability of these secondary sources which is important, if talking about general public trust.


    • Yes, I think James is right about that from my perspective. I don’t think I would read many except groundbreaking papers or perhaps specifics on public engagement. But it would be great to have a reliable secondary source which is comprehensive and trustworthy for scientists and others.

      I think SafeNano could be that for HSE nano if they got the cash to make their website better.

      I had in mind Nano&me being that for HSE (through Safenano) and regulation from Cardiff BRASS, and social and ethical through our own work, tho couldn’t keep abreast of the news on product innovation very well, perhaps Institute of Nano.


  2. […] « 7 steps to restore trust in science – step 2 […]


  3. […] Make research outputs available to all for free [previous post] […]


  4. […] Make research outputs available to all for free [previous post] […]


  5. […] Make research outputs available to all for free [previous post] […]


  6. […] Make research outputs available to all for free […]


  7. […] Make research outputs available to all for free [previous post] […]


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