What are the characteristics of good research? There is a trend that research is labeled as “good” if it is relevant for applications, or if it fits into a mainstream topic that is currently being funded.
In her Editorial in Angewandte Chemie, Stefanie Dehnen, University of Marburg, Germany, emphasizes the need for fundamental research, and reminds us that many discoveries arose from the curiosity and courage to explore something new. She also discourages publishing papers with content that is not particularly novel only to improve metrics of scientific output.
Dehnen points out that scientists should have a vision of the applications of their work, but avoid overselling them just to satisfy politicians or funders. Two other important points are that scientists should not forget to appreciate the beauty of chemistry, and that good mentoring that passes on enthusiasm for research and the value of fundamental research is invaluable.
- Mainstream—or not To Be? A Plea for Original Fundamental Research,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018.
Also of Interest
- Daniel Zajfman, Curiosity Driven Research