By Matthew Bailes
In our naive youth, we imagine scientific careers that are exceedingly pure.
In them, all that matters is the quality of our ideas, evidence and insight, written up in concise documents and published in refereed journals.
Bailes discusses the worrying rise of the 'science politician,' the savvy science careerist who works the system of grants, awards and collaboration better than the actual tools of their discipline.
Some of the comments are inter-disciplinary carping, but the article itself is an pointed denunciation of something I've been noticing a lot more since I've been in Australia: the way that some scholars get 'research tracked' here even though it's hard to perceive that the work is all that much better than anyone elses. Showered with grants and support, early 'promise' becomes self-fulfilling prophecy without necessarily translating to great theoretical or scientific effect.