Love for Science or 'Academic Prostitution'?

This is a seminar given at the European Research Council Headquarter some weeks ago.
It was focused on the expected audience, members of the ERC directly involved in
setting the rules for Grants evaluation and/or participate in all steps of the
process, mainly Scientific Officers, but also Agency staff. I have decided to
present the talk as it was presented there.

In a recent Special issue of Nature concerning Science Metrics it was claimed that "
Research reverts to a kind of 'academic prostitution' in which work is done to
please editors and referees rather than to further knowledge". If this is true,
funding agencies should try to avoid falling into the trap of their own system. By
perpetuating this 'prostitution' they risk not funding the best research but funding
the best sold research. 
Given the current epoch of economical crisis, where in a quest for funds researchers
are forced into competitive game of pandering to panelists, its seems a good time
for deep reflection about the entire scientific system. 
With this talk I aim to provoke extra critical thinking among the committees who
select evaluators, and among the evaluators, who in turn require critical thinking
to the candidates when selecting excellent science. 
I will present some initiatives (e.g. new tracers of impact for the Web era-
'altmetrics'), and on-going projects (e.g. how to move from publishing advertising
to publishing knowledge), that might enable us to favor Science over marketing.
13/06/2013 - 14:30
Dr. Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro