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Department of Zoology

Peter A. Lawrence

Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge


In the last 50 years, there have been many changes to the substance, conduct, and style of research. Many of these changes have proved disastrous to the life of scientists and to science itself. As a consequence, the near-romantic spirit of adventure and exploration that inspired young scientists of my own and earlier generations has become tarnished. Now, many of us feel beleaguered by bureaucrats and by politicians: they affect our lives profoundly, apparently without an understanding of the way discoveries are made or of the nature of science itself. The core purposes of universities, teaching and research, are being eroded by excessive administration. The number and locations of our publications are counted up like beans and the outcomes are used to rank us, one against another; a process of evaluation that has recast the purposes of publication. Applying for grants takes far too much time from a young scientist's life.

Current Topics in Developmental Biology
2016 Elsevier Inc.
ISSN 0070-2153 All rights reserved.