Overview of the legacy scientific economy
The modern economic model for scientific research is antiquated. A simplified description is as follows: Funders distribute capital to scientists who conduct research projects and share the results as scientific papers published within an academic journal.
In a perfect world funders, scientists, and publishers would work together to seamlessly capitalize, produce, and publicize scientific research. In reality, all three groups are independent agents whose actions are influenced by their individual economic incentives.
Distribute capital to research projects
To fund high-quality research
Capital -> new knowledge
To conduct high-quality research
Curate + distribute new knowledge
To generate revenue
The flow of capital that results from the use of research grants as a funding mechanism unintentionally creates a misaligned incentive structure that result in tremendous waste for the system as a whole.