How to Build the Perfect Research Institute?

19 June 2024
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


CSH Salon


Complexity Science Hub
  • Attendance: in person
  • Language: EN


How to Build the Perfect Research Institute?

The expansion of education, the growing recognition of the importance of science, and the rapid increase in scientific output have allowed the research community to tackle and solve increasingly complex problems. However, this growth has also led to several challenges. In a world of limited resources (both time and money), the pressure to produce more has placed an inhumane burden on researchers. This pressure often forces us to prioritize short-term projects that promise quick results and funding, over important, long-term questions: the “publish or perish” mentality might prevail over openness and risk-taking in scientific exploration. Moreover, society faces complex, multidisciplinary issues but there is a tendency to educate for over-specialization and quick solutions.

This talk is based on several conversations that I had over the past four months, at the Hub. It will explore ways to counteract these forces and improve the scientific environment for everyone. I expect that we can discuss how to envision the “perfect research institute” and how it could operate. I will begin by recounting some well-known scientific stories, demonstrating that the realities behind these successes are often different from what we learned in school. I will discuss problems such as rapid growth, the pressure for practical applicability, and the development of artificial intelligence models that outperform humans in certain tasks.

The second part of the talk will propose solutions to these issues. These include advocating for changes in funding policies to support a broader range of research initiatives, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration to pool resources and expertise, and developing new metrics for evaluating scientific success that prioritizes impactful and thorough research over the number of publications. Additionally, I will argue that we should focus on creating spaces, both physical and virtual, that encourage greater communication and collaboration across scientific disciplines. In particular, I will advocate for the creation of a “CERN for AI” and digital transformation. This approach focuses on cooperative advantages rather than competitive ones.



Joana Goncalves-Sà

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