The 7 biggest problems facing science

July 21st 2016

Today, scientists' success often isn't measured by the quality of their questions or the rigor of their methods. It's instead measured by how much grant money they win, the number of studies they publish, and how they spin their findings to appeal to the public.

A fascinating piece exploring the state of the sciences and some of the biggest challenges the field is facing today. The study is overly-broad, and perhaps not scientific itself, yet it offers an interesting exposition of the affects an incentive structure can have on an entire community. The piece raises murky questions in my mind about what kinds of parallels we might look for in the design (or broader tech) industry.

Lately I've been trying to understand the incentive structures (explicit and implicit) that shape our behavior every day, as well as their downstream effects on our output and decision-making process. In doing so I realized how little I know about why we do the things we do as it relates to incentives and the implicit agreements we make every single time we show up at our desks. I'll be reading up on some contract theory for now – if you have any book suggestions I'd love to hear.

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