Bypass and hyperbole in soil science : a perspective from the next generation of soil scientists

Portell, Xavier (School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, UK) ; Sauzet, Ophélie (School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape (hepia), HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Balseiro-Romero, Maria (CRETUS Institute, Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain) ; Benard, Pascal (Chair of Soil Physics, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany) ; Cardinael, Rémi (CIRAD, UPR AIDA, Harare, Zimbabwe ; AIDA, CIRAD, Université Montpellier, Montpellier, France ; Crop Science Department, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe) ; Couradeau, Estelle (Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, USA) ; Danra, Dieudonné D. (Faculty of Science, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Ngaoundéré, Ngaoundéré, Cameroon) ; Evans, Daniel L. (School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, UK ; Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK) ; Fry, Ellen L. (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK) ; Hammer, Edith C. (Department of Biology/Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, Lund University, Lund, Sweden) ; Mamba, Danielle (Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon) ; Merino-Martin, Luis (Amap, University Montpellier, INRAE, Montpellier, France ; CEFE, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, Univ Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, EPHE, IRD, Montpellier, France) ; Mueller, Carsten W. (Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark) ; Paradelo, Marcos (Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Kent, UK) ; Rees, Frédéric (Université Paris‐Saclay, INRAE, AgroParisTech, UMR ECOSYS, Thiverval‐Grignon, France) ; Rossi, Lorenzo M. W. (Amap, University Montpellier, INRAE, Montpellier, France ; Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, Università degli studi di Milano, Milan, Italy) ; Schmidt, Hannes (Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria) ; Schnee, Laura S. (General and Theoretical Ecology, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany) ; Védère, Charlotte (Université Paris‐Saclay, INRAE, AgroParisTech, UMR ECOSYS, Thiverval‐Grignon, France) ; Vidal, Alix (Chair of Soil Science, Technical University of Munich (TUM), School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Freising, Germany)

We, the co‐authors of this letter, are an international group of soil scientists at early career stages, from PhD students to postdoctoral researchers, lecturers, and research fellows with permanent positions. Here, we present our collective musings on soil research challenges and opportunities and, in particular, the points raised by Philippe Baveye (Baveye, 2020a, 2020b) and Johan Bouma (Bouma, 2020) on bypass and hyperbole in soil science. Raising awareness about these issues is a first and necessary step. To this end, we would like to thank Philippe Baveye and Johan Bouma for initiating this debate. The so‐called “rat‐race” in the scientific publication system, and the associated practices including “bypass” and “hyperbole” as highlighted by Baveye (2020a, 2020b), particularly affect the ability of early career soil scientists to begin and consolidate their careers and to make meaningful contributions to their disciplines. PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, junior and senior lecturers and well‐established professors hold contrasting perspectives on these issues and unequally suffer from the pernicious impacts and imperfections of the current system. We strongly believe that finding and implementing effective and efficient solutions to adjust the system requires the involvement and collective responsibility of the whole soil science community.

Note: letter to the editor

Article Type:
Ingénierie et Architecture
HEPIA - Genève
inTNE - Institut Terre-Nature-Environnement
4 p.
Published in:
European Journal of Soil Science
Numeration (vol. no.):
2020, vol. 72, no.1, pp. 31-34
Appears in Collection:

 Record created 2021-02-19, last modified 2021-02-26

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