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Founded by a team of graduate students at the University of Cambridge, the Better Science Project is a UK-based think tank focusing on alternative models for funding, structuring, and sharing scientific research. Our aim is to develop new, diversified models for how research is done in the UK.
To do so, we conduct metascience research to identify the best ways to propel innovation, and translate these insights into concrete policy recommendations. In addition, we initiate and support real-world metascience projects to help build an ecosystem of scientific institutions for the 21st century.
Diversifying how we fund science could radically improve the range and variety of research projects that scientists are able to pursue. The current process of securing grants is cumbersome, inefficient, and favours lower-risk research. We are interested in developing new funding models and implementing them in the UK – where few alternative models currently exist.
Too many bright young scientists abandon research because of slow, uncertain career progression, and salaries that make make living near the lab an impossibility. For those who stay - high-risk research can be neglected in favour of a safe bet when professional progress hinges on continuous publishing.
The vast majority of scientific research in the UK takes place in University-based research labs, which broadly share a similar structure. Institutes based on different organisational principles could unlock greater productivity, enhance scientific creativity, and facilitate collaboration. We are also interested in interrogating the incentives baked into the current landscape and investigating how these impact research outcomes.
Traditional publishing in peer-reviewed journals can be slow, costly, and may disincentivise risky science. Negative data and interesting observations that don't fit a paper's narrative are rarely shared. There is huge scope for experimentation across many aspects of publishing and data sharing, and innovation in this space could hugely benefit the quality and accessibility of research.
The Better Science Review is dedicated to advancing metascience research and promoting dialogue on new, innovative ways to do science. We publish articles of diverse formats within this broad scope, including (but not limited to) opinion pieces, research articles, and interviews. Contributions from people at all career
stages are welcome.
To find out more about writing for us, please see contact us
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