Africa Scientists Peter Martell/AFP/Getty Images

La nueva fuga de cerebros en las ciencias

DUBAI – En diciembre de 2013, Peter Higgs, físico laureado con el Premio Nobel, dijo a The Guardian que si buscaba un trabajo en la academia en la actualidad, “no creo que se me considere lo suficientemente productivo”. Debido a que publicó menos de diez artículos desde su innovador trabajo en el año1964, Higgs cree que ninguna universidad lo emplearía hoy en día.

Los académicos están muy familiarizados con la noción de “publicar o perecer”. Deben publicar su trabajo en revistas revisadas por pares cada vez con mayor frecuencia para escalar en su carrera, proteger sus empleos y asegurar el financiamiento para sus instituciones. Pero, ¿qué sucede con los científicos y otros académicos, como los del Medio Oriente, que tienen distintas preocupaciones de investigación que – y escasas conexiones con –  las revistas profesionales que pueden hacer o deshacer una carrera académica/científica?

Los académicos e instituciones con altas tasas de publicación en las revistas establecidas reciben mejores puntajes de productividad, lo que se traduce en mayores recompensas, en términos de carreras mejoradas y mayor financiamiento para la investigación. Si el trabajo que están publicando tiene o no un impacto medible en su campo de estudio es, lamentablemente, una preocupación secundaria con demasiada frecuencia. Los incentivos que enfrentan se traducen en que la cantidad a menudo viene antes de la calidad.

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