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Anyway, the real problem as explained in this series of Nature articles (http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110420/full/472276a.html), is that the number of faculty positions has remained relatively constant in comparison to the vast increase in the number of PhDs awarded. As mentioned by another poster above, this system was created and nurtured by the people who got their faculty jobs in the 1970s and 1980s when they faced very little competition. To paint a slightly caricatural picture, when research budgets expanded, the people in charge used most of the money to expand their own labs rather than to create more tenured jobs.
Because of that, expectations in terms of published research and obtained funding have kept going up to a point where it is very difficult for young people to become independent. Senior established investigators have the better toys, they can take more risks, they have more money, they populate grant panels and can easily stifle competition and control a good part of the review process in top tier journals.
For example... maybe one scientist pays another scientist to reproduce his work. Maybe you have big collections of graduate students that as part of their process of getting a degree get assigned some random papers submitted by scientists in their field and they have to reproduce the work.
You don't work in science do you? Being paid for reproducing someone else's work means you are not producing anything original of your own. It doesn't advance your career. Then with respect to your second point, being a graduate student means to perform original research. If your PhD is about reproducing someone else's work, you won't be able to publish anything of significance.
The problem is the system globally: journals, which push for high impact sexy stories; promotion committees, which only look at how many high impact papers scientists have published and at how much funding they have attracted; and finally funding bodies, which only look at publications. If you are not lucky enough to get into a big lab which automatically publishes in high impact journals based on the labhead's reputation, the incentive to game the system is high. You just need to look at all the scandals that have come to light in the last years. You can even buy authorship on papers to which you have contributed nothing (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6162/1035.summary).
no it can't because amateurs can't do things rigorously enough to meet the 5 sigma thresholds.
Most professional scientists never meet the 5 sigma threshold either.
On a more serious note, I though the next big project was going to be a linear accelerator. Anybody know why they picked the round one over the straight one?
Isn't that simply because in a circular one you can accelerate the particles continuously through several rotations?
All non-passive YouTube users (ie: anyone who wants to leave or reply to comments on videos) must now create a Google+ identity and link it to their YouTube channel.
Cynics (such as myself) are seeing this as a nasty piece of *evil* blackmail on the part of Google as it attempts to boost the numbers of G+ users and the levels of activity within the G+ community.
Unfortunately, in doing this, Google seems to have completely forgotten the KISS strategy that made their search engine so distinctive and a darling of Net users everywhere. The YouTube comments system was also very simple, very clean and surprisingly effective.
Now however, users must fight their way through the acres of dross that are associated with a Google+ account and although the new system offers a few extra features, much of the essential core functionality of the previous YouTube comments system has been destroyed.
There are presently several online petitions demanding that Google reinstate the old comments system and numerous "rant videos" from upset YouTube users but perhaps the best demonstration of how poorly this forced change has gone down is the like/dislike ratio and the nature of the comments on Google's own YouTube promotional video for these changes.