Science, 'quo vadis'?

Between intellectual passion and market laws

The way science is done has changed radically in the past few years. The personal considerations and experiences of a protagonist help us understand the mechanisms of contemporary science, which has become a system where passion, dedication and reliability have increasingly less room, pressed by hard market laws. From vocation of a few, science has become the profession of many, possibly too many. This has consequences and risks, such as the increase of frauds and plagiarism, but in particular results in a huge amount of scientific publications, often of little relevance. The solution? A slow approach with more emphasis on quality than quantity, that helps us rediscover the central role of a responsible scientist.

Gianfranco Pacchioni is Vice-Rector for Research at the University of Milano Bicocca. He has been working at the IBM Almaden Research Center in California (1987) and at the Technical University of Munich (1993). Associate Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Milano (1988), he is now Full Professor of Solid State Chemistry at the University of Milano Bicocca.