cambium killers project

       It has always seemed to me that the work of a scientist is rather serious. Description of the world, proving hypotheses, readiness for incredible twists and turns of thoughts, it is something for which people devote all their abilities and life.

Nowadays, more and more scientists only count. Count their points. The points for publications. The fact is a subject of debates. It bothers them. Working on the chord. They “do" science.

I read more and more reviews where the most scientists are called "losers or loafers", which is to be an expression of the numerical value of the scientific journals in which their works were published.

Most often these words come from the lips of the group of people that by chance deals with the fields of science today simply recognized as fashionable (read: highly scored). By what right it depreciates the whole mass of work made by aficionados? I know researchers of San river valley tribes, those who rush to save the dying local Polish language, those who for ten years develop forest experimental plots for scientists who will come after one hundred and twenty years. I admire each of them sincerely for their flushes when they tell me about their work. Unfortunately, they will not be likely to publish the results in a journal scored highly (high Impact Factor)

They will not get money for their research, because it is not enough, and when there was yet, money has been allocated to the projects, just one of these fashion trends. Brutality of the system requires them to consider themselves as inferior, and so they believe.

     And what should older scientists think, those whose output measured by Impact Factor was freely and easily considered almost meaningless, and who absolutely are true masters of their fields? Should their knowledge and humanism, although overwhelming, be worth nothing nowadays, because they are non-quantifiable according to current criteria?

     On the other hand, younger scientists are afraid of entering independently with original and ambitious ideas into the unknown path, because it may prove to be a dead end without publication in a prestigious journal.They prefer to dissolve themselves as successive coauthors in large scientific cooperatives for gaining... some points, and for increase their personal index of indexes or impact factors. Thus they sacrifice their abilities and freedom. Something that is a gift should certainly still serve others. Nowadays it serves individuals for their own promotion. Furthermore, matter, nature, a plant or a beetle, are more and more often only tools for point geeks to gain pride, and not the subject of tireless service and delight of a researcher.

      It is therefore necessary to take the real effort on recovery of the system in such a way as to give equal chances to all good researchers both representatives of the so-called fashionable trends as well as those interested in tackling the problems outside the main streams, and whose the current  system simply eliminates. Let us remember - brilliant hypotheses and scientific discoveries almost always arose alone, on the outskirts of the main trends of science and often were published in the journals, which, by current criteria, would be difficult to recognize them as highly scored.


Art lives in freedom and in this space we can do more. So we used art as a tool to express our thoughts and anxieties.


But this little song is dedicated to all those tired and brave enthusiasts to whom, I will repeat endlessly: chin up, chin up People!



Urszula Zajaczkowska

Warsaw University of Life Sciences

Department of Forest Botany                                                                                              June 2015