Of scientific research in society

J. Britt Holbrook (NJIT): What is Science in the National Interest? Philip Cohen (Maryland): The Widening Political Divide over Science. Why Americans trust technology but not science. Mario Coccia (CNR): Motivations of Scientific Research in Society. Joel Katzav and Krist Vaesen on the National Science Foundation and the rise of value-free philosophies of science. Bruno Latour, the post-truth philosopher, mounts a defense of science: He spent decades deconstructing the ways that scientists claim their authority — can his ideas help them regain that authority today? In the post-truth world, we need to remember the philosophy of science. Lucie Laplane et al. on why science needs philosophy. Arran Gare (Swinburne): Natural Philosophy and the Sciences: Challenging Science’s Tunnel Vision. How blind reverence for science obscures real problems.

Roberto Fumagalli (KCL): Who is Afraid of Scientific Imperialism? Moti Mizrahi (FIT): Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth is Not Enough. It’s tempting to think science gives a God’s-eye view of reality — but we forget the place of human experience at our peril. Science is getting less bang for its buck: Despite vast increases in the time and money spent on research, progress is barely keeping pace with the past — what went wrong? Machine-learning techniques used by thousands of scientists to analyse data are producing results that are misleading and often completely wrong. How big data has created a big crisis in science.

Bigger is not always better for team science: Small research groups tend to beat large collaborations when it comes to producing innovative projects and breakthrough discoveries. We might be better off funding scientific research by choosing projects at random — here’s why. The future of science is in your hands: Karl Schroeder interviews Michael Nielsen, author of Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science.