Science and scientists turned into news and media stars by scientific journals. A study on the consequences on the present scientific behaviour




This article explores whether some scientists have now actually been developing a type of science apt to be published as a piece of news, yet lacking a relevant scientific interest. Possibly, behind this behaviour there may be the present working culture, in which scientists live under the pressure of the dictatorship of the Science Citation Index (SCI) of the reference journals. This hypothesis is supported by a study demonstrating that there is a direct relation between publishing scientific results in the press and a subsequent increase in the SCI index. Many cases are here described, selected among the papers published in Nature that – according to experts – have a media interest rather than a scientific one. Furthermore, the case of the Dolly sheep cloning is studied as a paradigm for a situation in which media coverage actually destroyed the research group.