A paradigm shift in science is needed

Academia is grounded on a unique combination of high-quality education and research. This guarantees a fertile environment for knowledge creation and for the education of the generations to come which will benefit the society as whole. However, in the last few decades, to ensure the societal impact of universities, the focus has been put on short-term economic impact, resulting in a clear divergence from the societal aimed at. The most visible aspects of this are the “publish or perish” culture and the “reproducibility crisis” in science. 

Material Pioneers will work toward a system to value different ways of collaborating to scientific progress, such as performing experiments, supporting students and validating existing results. We believe progress in science has many shapes, and all of them should be rewarded and valued in order to make an impact in society.

    • Ensure that universities work for the society as a whole, instead of focusing on perception through rankings, grants and scientific papers.
    • Set the scientific base for the technology we will need to solve the societal problems in the coming decades
    • Ensure a high quality education of tomorrow’s problem solvers


    Being a researcher in the academic world

    How to be a successful researcher and support the scientific community at the same time? Pedro Mendes, a co-founder at Young European Catalysis Nwtrok and researcher at Ghent University, shares with us tips and tricks to open your data, be collaborative and build up a successful career in academia.

    Learning from failures: research is a collective process

    An interview with Stefan Gaillard, co-founder of JOTE and Researcher at Utrecht University. Science is based on a process of trial and error, but for the past decades, only positive results have been published (and rewarded).

    Tools and Resources

    DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment) Created by the grassroots initiative of the scientific community in 2013, this declaration aims to promote real change in research assessment. Resources about it which can also be used for presentations are freely available. You can sign the declaration and support a more comprehensive and fairer assessment of research.

    It is an association of 23 European universities which studies key matters in higher-education, ultimately aiming at changing academia. Learn More

    Among the most relevant studies are:

    What are universities for: Learn More

    What is the societal impact of universities and how can it assessed: Learn More

    What can universities do about the reproducibility crisis: Learn More

    Equality, diversity and inclusion at universities: Learn More


    In addition to several policies, the RSC has commissioned an independent report which makes a diagnose on the existing prizes and awards, and pledges for change.

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     A global view on what society needs from science, but also on the specificities of every world region.

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    10 principles to guide research evaluation. 

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