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Young scientists ‘under pressure’

Helmut Schwarz, president of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, has said that too much is asked of early-career researchers in terms of reporting requirements and peer review.

Speaking at the foundation’s New Year conference in Berlin, Schwarz said that the rising number of misconduct cases was just one example of the pressure “building up within the science system” and being “vented in ugly ways”.

A survey published in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit in December found that 80 per cent of young scientists in Germany were considering a career change because of job insecurity and poor career prospects. Referring to the study, Schwarz said: “The dream job of the scientist is in crisis—and this is in a country that can look back on a long tradition of outstanding science and in which political and economic representatives say time and again that our future will be determined by science-driven areas.”

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