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How science really works: the secret life of science

On 12 March 2018 for the Cambridge Science Festival, Professor Jeremy Baumberg FRS explored "Is the scientific enterprise truly as healthy as we tend to think? How does the system itself shape what scientists do?”. 

"The Secret Life of Science" took a clear-eyed and provocative look at the current state of global science, shedding light on a cutthroat and tightly tensioned enterprise that even scientists themselves often don’t fully understand. This dispatch from the front lines of modern science painted a startling picture of a complex scientific ecosystem that has become the most competitive free market environment on the planet. It revealed how big this ecosystem really is, what motivates its participants, and who reaps the rewards. 

Professor Baumberg explored: Are there too few scientists in the world or too many? Are some fields expanding at the expense of others? What science is shared or published, and who determines what the public gets to hear about? What is the future of science? Answering these and other questions, he explained why globalization is not necessarily good for science, nor is the continued growth in the number of scientists. It portrays a scientific community engaged in a race for limited resources that determines whether careers are lost or won, whose research visions become the mainstream, and whose vested interests end up in control.

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