The Overproduction of truth. Passion, competition, and integrity in modern science

Staff - Faculty of Informatics

Date: 4 February 2020 / 14:20 - 15:30

USI Lugano Campus, room A22, Red Building (Via G. Buffi 13)


Gianfranco Pacchioni, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Italy


The way science is done has changed radically in recent years. Scientific research and institutions, which have long been characterized by passion, dedication and reliability, have increasingly less capacity for more ethical pursuits, and are pressed by hard market laws. From the vocation of a few, science has become the profession of many — possibly too many. These trends come with consequences and risks, such as the rise in fraud, plagiarism, and in particular the sheer volume of scientific publications, often of little relevance. We will critically review and assess the present-day policies and behaviors in scientific production and publication. We will touch on the tumultuous growth of scientific journals, in parallel with the growth of self-declared scientists over the world. We will investigate the loopholes and hoaxes of pretend journals and nonexistent congresses, so common today in the scientific arena, and discuss problems connected to the incorrect use of bibliometric indices, which have resulted in large part from the above distortions of scientific life. The solution? A slow approach with more emphasis on quality rather than quantity that will help us to rediscover the essential role of the responsible scientist.

Host: Prof. Michele Parrinello