Yesterday (November 1, 2021) Roger Schonfeld of Ithaka S+R published a valuable piece titled “Is Scientific Communication Fit for Purpose?” on the Scholarly Kitchen site. See
There is a lot to consider here, against the backdrop of various polls and surveys reflecting erosion in public trust in science, and the way that innovations in scientific communication (such as broad adoption of unrefereed preprints for distribution in biomedicine and public health, which were long resisted) have co-existed uneasily with journalism intended for the general public, and indeed with decision-making by public officials during the pandemic. One almost wonders if we are going to see a split in public opinion or scientific communication processes between low-stakes (things that don’t really have much impact on the public, at least in the near term, such as most physics, mathematics, astrophysics, etc) and high-stakes (public health, climate change, some kinds of environmental science, biomedicine) that can reshape public policy going forward.
In any event, I think Roger has done a real service in summarizing the issues here in a succinct, high level survey, and I hope it can serve as the basis for some badly needed discussions.