"Do you do science to win awards?" asks NeuroDojo's Zen Faulkes. Awards can become a "problem" in science if they are the only motivation for some people to do research, he says. It's certainly nice to get an award and be recognized for all your hard work, but it shouldn't be a driving force. Awards like the Nobel Prize that come with lots of money and prestige attached are particularly troublesome because money shouldn't be the point of science, he adds. "It's a matter of means, ends, and side effects. To me, the end goal of science should be good evidence, strong predictions, and less ignorance about the world," Faulkes says. "Money is a means to the end. Awards are a side effect."
When a Pat on the Back Just Isn't Enough
Feb 10, 2011