As long as the language it speaks is English.
American Inst. Of PhysicsFor now.
Unfortunately for 94 percent of humanity, scientists have a far greater chance of getting published if they write for English-language scientific publications ... even in their own countries. In the Netherlands, there are 40 English-language scientific journals for every one in Dutch. That's bad news all around for non-English speakers, as speaking in another language makes it harder to understand complex topics, more difficult to communicate precisely, and slows down research.
But the English hegemony isn't just bad for scientists; it's bad for science itself. Forcing scientists to approach their field from a single language comes with "the great cost of losing their unique ways of communicating ideas," says Sean Perera, a researcher into scientific communication. Forcing everything through the lens of a single language means a decrease in the variety of perspectives. For the most part, English has a common culture attached to it, which has its own specific way of thinking. Doing it this way eliminates "indigenous knowledge," which in turn reduces outside-the-box thinking. Speak like the English, reason like the English, and soon you'll think the answer to every problem is to recolonize India.
Predatory Science Journals Are Hilarious ... And Also Destroying Science
You've heard the old adage "publish or perish." In academia, if you're not publishing notable papers, your career might as well be dead. It seems unfair, but that's the reality of the profession. Enter what one researcher has dubbed "predatory journals." They all have official-sounding names, like cheap knockoff versions of reputable publications. They spam university email addresses, offering the chance for quick and easy publishing. And for those naive enough to submit, the predatory journals then hold their papers hostage in exchange for exorbitant fees.
Plenty of knowingly unscientific bunkum gets laundered through these journals, from climate change denial to the adverse health effects of not dating scientists. And it all seeps out into the mainstream, unedited, un-reviewed, and unsubstantiated. So some scientists have made a game out of exposing predatory journals, seeing how ridiculous their submission can be while still getting published. So far, enterprising academics have gotten the following published: two Simpsons characters, a fake woman whose name literally means "fraud" in Polish, a dog, and Apple's auto-complete function. Two researchers also published a ten-page essay simply titled "Get me off Your Fucking Mailing Lists," which consists of nothing but the sentence "Get me off Your Fucking Mailing Lists," accompanied by handy graphs showing the values of getting them off Your Fucking Mailing Lists.
Mazieres, Kohler The "unsubscribe" button might help, but it isn’t nearly this satisfying.
But where one scientist sees an opportunity for a hilarious joke, another just sees opportunity. There exists an "ugly symbiosis" between publishers eager to exploit academics and academics hungry to stick another published paper on their university's break room fridge. Predatory journals aren't just thriving. They now have their own conferences, where for the right price, anyone can be a speaker -- something that looks very good on any academic resume. They don't even have to show up. The audience sure won't.
When he's not calling every person smarter than him a dum-dum, Cedric Voets can be found gibbering like an idiot on Twitter.
You know what's some great science you can do at home? An ant farm. Why aren't there more ant farms?
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