Frances Stead Sellers writes about how the pandemic has upended, or accelerated changes, to the funding of research, peer review and the distribution of results. Sometimes the changes have felt apt for the times, but often the reckless pace has been disconcerting.
“Within a week, we had raised $25,000,” she said. “In a month, $70,000.”
The pandemic has upended norms of the scientific process, from the way studies are funded through the publication of findings. Researchers have been presenting their results online or sending them directly to media outlets rather than awaiting publication in prestigious academic journals. And the stodgy process of peer review has evolved into forthright — and sometimes acrimonious — assessments in the unbridled atmosphere of the Internet.