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The world must navigate, embrace technological innovation, peer review
By Gaurav Chandra  |  Jun 05, 2024
The world must navigate, embrace technological innovation, peer review
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Plenty of scientific papers and patents are being published, but more disruption, greater creativity, and more high-risk, high-reward research are needed. Understanding the peer review paradox may hold the key to unlocking this, argues Adnexus Biotechnologies Inc CEO Dr Gaurav Chandra.

DENVER, COLORADO - Over 50 million new scientific papers have been published in the last 70 years, alongside over 5 million patents. There has also been a significant increase in scientific papers and patents published in recent years. The quantity of such papers can be misleading, however - one should instead focus on disruptive science, which refers to research that fundamentally changes the world’s understanding of a particular field, often rendering previous knowledge obsolete.

Thus, while the number of published papers still grows exponentially, evidence suggests a stagnation in the production of disruptive research since 1945.1

Multiple studies - including one from Nature Magazine shown in the graph below - indicate a large decline in research productivity in cutting-edge fields such as pharmaceuticals and semiconductors. Recent publications, patents, and grant applications also mostly flag decreased originality, integration of diverse knowledge, and critical innovation factors. The time gap between a discovery and the awarding of a Nobel Prize has also widened, implying higher standards for contemporary contributions as compared to the past.

Decline of disruptive science and technology


The 'peer review paradox' is a thought-provoking phenomenon that appears to lead to a decline in groundbreaking scientific discoveries.2&nbs

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