Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit

18. August 2011 von Laborjournal

In Berlin hat eine Gruppe von Forschern die „Slow Science Academy“ gegründet. Ihr Anliegen: Durch eine Entschleunigung der Forschung Sorgfalt und Qualität zu steigern sowie Fehler und Fehlverhalten zu minimieren.

In ihrem Manifest schreibt die Akademie:

We are scientists. We don’t blog. We don’t twitter. We take our time.

Don’t get us wrong—we do say yes to the accelerated science of the early 21st century. We say yes to the constant flow of peer-review journal publications and their impact; we say yes to science blogs and media & PR necessities; we say yes to increasing specialization and diversification in all disciplines. We also say yes to research feeding back into health care and future prosperity. All of us are in this game, too.

However, we maintain that this cannot be all. Science needs time to think. Science needs time to read, and time to fail. Science does not always know what it might be at right now. Science develops unsteadi­ly, with jerky moves and un­predict­able leaps forward—at the same time, however, it creeps about on a very slow time scale, for which there must be room and to which justice must be done.

Slow science was pretty much the only science conceivable for hundreds of years; today, we argue, it deserves revival and needs protection. Society should give scientists the time they need, but more importantly, scientists must take their time.

We do need time to think. We do need time to digest. We do need time to mis­understand each other, especially when fostering lost dialogue between humanities and natural sciences. We cannot continuously tell you what our science means; what it will be good for; because we simply don’t know yet. Science needs time.

Bear with us, while we think.

Viel mehr als das Manifest hat die Akademie allerdings noch nicht auf ihrer Website.

Dennoch wird sie bereits bemerkt. John Horgan kommentiert das Manifest in seinem Blog Cross-Check beim Scientific American. Und auch an anderer Stelle reagiert ein Kommentator durchaus skeptisch:

„Slow science“ does not necessarily equate with better science. There is always additional experiments that can be performed that might further improve almost any study. Exaggeration of the importance of research findings, cutting corners and committing fraud are not really linked to performing faster science, it just bad science at any speed. While premature publication of scientific findings might induce some researchers to go in unproductive directions, a case can also be made that a delay in releasing some important findings can hinder scientific progress by not alerting scientists about problematic or promising research avenues sooner.

Letztlich muss wohl jeder selbst sein eigenes Tempo finden, in dem er gute Wissenschaft produzieren kann. Dummerweise geben aber Forschungspolitik und Förderorganisationen heutzutage ein ziemlich hohes Mindesttempo vor.

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