Big data is everywhere in science today, opening new insights in fields from astrophysics to zoology, Science Careers reports.

For all its promise, though, big data also poses a real danger to academic science, warns Jake VanderPlas, a postdoc in astronomy and computer science at the University of Washington, in an illuminating essay on his Pythonic Perambulations blog. Specifically, VanderPlas believes that universities have to change their reward system or risk losing the very people whose expertise makes big-data research possible.

"Where scientific research is concerned, this recently accelerated shift to data-centric science has a dark side, which boils down...

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