The German research landscape has many problems. This week I had a very nice discussion with a colleague, about research, the way it is performed today, will not solve any problems. Every researcher only hunt’s for funding, the ones with more ambition hunt for tenure. Doing so, they produce as many papers as possible as fast as possible, to display their excellent scientific quality. As a result, none of the problems they work on is ever solved completely. Every single time, special cases are excluded and only data sets are published which work well, neither representative nor complete; but published. Thus the research community accepts the publication as solution for the corresponding problem. The people having the problem are the upcoming researchers and PhD students, which need to use that stuff. If the only want to continue research, they are forced to make the same simplifications as before. If they want to really used the “solution” to work, they have to solve all the special cases, add robustness, performance, whatever. The tremendous amount of work they have to invest will not be recognized by anyone, since the research community already believe that problem had been solved before, hindering any new publications with the actual working solution. Thus researchers are forced to work with 1/4 solutions all the time.
So what about industry? They could create the full solutions. … Why should they? The industry creates their own solutions, especially tailored for their own problems. They are not interested in generic solutions for a broad audience, and rightly so.
This view of my obviously is limited to the research I see around me, namely the work in computer science. I hope other fields do better research.
So, how do we go on? … Well, exactly as before. There won’t be solutions and we will burn money.