A discussion on the role of reputation in society

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A discussion on the role of reputation in society

Biomedical research is a huge enterprise now; it attracts riff-raff who never would have survived as scientists in the s and s.

There is no doubt that highly capable scientists currently participate in the grant-review process.

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Likewise, unfortunately, study sections are undoubtedly contaminated by riff-raff. And yet, this is a refrain that I commonly hear about study sections in particular, peer review in general, and even extends to the participation of ECRs in applying for grants themselves: The biomedical enterprise in particular has expanded continuously since the s andmost notably of course in the population of graduate students and postdocs the number of tenure-track positions has not increased.

ECRs are not, of course, inferior to senior academics; just less experienced. But these smart people are basically restricted from the academy by those who want to maintain that they are intellectually superior.

Efforts to exclude qualified postdocs from reviewer pools prevents incorporation of new ideas and perspectives into the process. Photo by Alina Chan A brief history of peer review: For example, as Tennant et al.

There is no great historical basis, nor momentum, supporting exclusion of ECRs from peer review. Peer Review determines the career of the ECR; they should participate fully Papers, and therefore peer review, are the currency for career progression for ECRs.

To give full agency, and the scholarly recognition they deserve, ECRs should be able to participate in that currency, and indeed this issue is part of a larger issue of agency and full participation in the academic community that ECRs often struggle against. The exclusion of ECRs in this process is largely gatekeeping, and as we have seen, part of a system that is not even that old.

As Tennant et al. Membership of a community, therefore, is validated by the peers who review this newly contributed work. Indeed some journals and societies already have such mentored programs. Postdocs are researchers in a position of mentored independence — supposed to be working on their own projects and research plans, and learning how to manage a research group from an independent principal investigators.

As such, I can see no reason for postdocs not to be fully involved in the peer review process. If they are fulfilling the mission of what the postdoc position is supposed to be, and are not simply cheap hands at the bench, any postdoc who is not intellectually capable of performing peer review in their area of expertise should not be in a postdoctoral position.

Indeed graduate students and postdocs are not actually excluded from peer review; this would simply not be possible given the burden of review that currently exists in the system. Their contributions must be recognized formally to give them the credit they have earned.

Denying ECRs, particularly postdocs, credit for participating in the peer review process purely because they are not in the ranks of the professoriate, is simply gatekeeping, and is intellectually dishonest.

Riffraff disguise kit for study sections. Again, from Tennant et al.: There are massive structural faults with peer review at journals and funding agencies that make the processes inequitable and exclusive see review by Lee et al.

Black researchers in the U. Journal editors are more likely to support peer reviewers of the same genderand are more likely men.

A discussion on the role of reputation in society

Women are more successful in grant review when the science is assessed, rather than the scientist. The increased participation of a more diverse pool of reviewers is one issue that is butting against other proposed reforms for peer review, however.

Junior researchers and those from marginalized communities have very real concerns about Open Peer Review OPRparticularly signing reviews.

But it is important to recognize that both explicit and implicit biases may manifest themselves in both overt and subtle ways on members of these communities, as can be seen in other realms of academic life and has been the case historically for these communities.

My own perspective in signing reviews, which I do whenever I can, must take into account that I am a white man, and also one who takes arguing from a junior perspective as central to my identity. The reasons to sign a peer review are so highly individual that personally I am in favor of opt-in dynamics, certainly until the appropriate checks and balances against retribution and bias can be developed with careful study.

My rationale draws from the belief that scholarly identity and participation in the academic community is strongly bound up in activities like participation as an investigator on a grant, or as a peer reviewer — notably intellectual pursuits that are currently largely isolated from the junior researcher who is kept in the practical role of the bench researcher.

Journals, societies and funders can all also benefit from the inclusion of ECRs in positions of power, to hold these organizations accountable, right up to the level of the highest boards and councils. Most recently, NIH ran into trouble for its Advisory Council to the Director derailing proposals to cap funding for investigators, aimed at improving prospects for ECRs, particularly because no ECRs were able to participate in the decision-making process — this has now been addressed with the inclusion of three ECRs on their working group.

Expanding the pool of reviewers, giving credit for this work, training scholars in the pursuit and recognizing peer review as a scholarly contribution are all critical for ECRs — and for the biomedical enterprise.Reputation plays a central role in human societies.

Empirical and theoretical work indicates that a good reputation is valuable in that it . René Descartes was a French mathematician and philosopher during the 17th century. He is often considered a precursor to the rationalist school of thought, and his vast contributions to the fields of mathematics and philosophy, individually as well as holistically, helped pushed Western knowledge forward during the scientific revolution.

The Meaning of Reputation in American Society Robert N. Bellaht This Comment will present a sociological perspective on the mean-ing of reputation in American society.

Nov 02,  · What role does honor play in (today's) society? I personally think there is a lot of honor in society today, and even in the past too. High respected members of certain cultures, kingdoms, etc. always have high honor, since they have the highest role in their establishment.

Women's roles vary by society and time period, but there has been a gradual increase in gender equality, especially in the last hundred years.

Women do not have equal rights in some countries, especially in the Middle East.

A discussion on the role of reputation in society

Adam Smith (—) Adam Smith is often identified as the father of modern capitalism. While accurate to some extent, this description is both overly simplistic and dangerously misleading.

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