It's a long read (I've spread it out over 24 hours!) but "A Vision of Metascience" by @michael_nielsen and Kanjun Qiu is well worth the time
I had some brief interactions with Michael a while ago on this general subject, and the article itself has inevitably caused me to chew on things a bit further. 🧵
2. One thing that, I think, the article only briefly touches on in the final section end is: "who goes into science"? I'd also add "and what incentives sculpt them?" Let me use an example.
3. I've observed for a long time that many modern scientists are increasingly status obsessed: we love prizes so much that we keep creating new ones (e.g. best paper, best ...) that we then tout as proxies for our excellence.
4. Perhaps inevitably, a growing number of people now think that prizes are the reason we do science.
5. This might seem harmless, but I've noticed it having a terrible effect: those people who are not status-obsessed, and/or who find boasting distasteful, end up thinking that they cannot be, or do not want to be, scientists.
6. [This is not hypothetical: I've heard this concern from a number of junior researchers in the last few years, including those who said that was the reason they were soon going to leave research.]
7. It makes me worry that we might end up in, and perhaps are already in, a feedback loop where we provide stronger incentives for the status obsessed than we do those who would be excellent scientists.
8. I think those of us at the science coal face need to think more carefully about how we act, and how we influence the surrounding systems: for all our declared helplessness, we influence institutions as much as they influence as us.
9. Put another way, I'd have loved the article even more than I do if it also talk more about what scientists themselves could do to make things better (rather than implicitly expect institutions to do all the heavy lifting).
10. In case that last tweet isn't clear, I still think this is an important article that should be read, and carefully considered, by everyone who thinks about science!

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Thoughtful thread reflecting on metascience: