There is some solace to this diabolical and quite unnecessary race. Thankfully we all think in very different ways. One mans meat is another mans protein and intramuscular fat with carbs! When some researchers fear that another group is looking over their shoulder at the same thing, they ‘must’ also have the same results and conclusions…this is very, very unlikely. To quote good old Dawkins, it’s akin to throwing several tonnes of scrap metal into the air and it self-assembles on landing into a Boeing 737. Sadly this is compounded by the many journals who, when you finally submit your refined labours, have ‘seen this work before’ giving your paper cursory glance (if you are lucky!). Or, if you are really lucky and a paper gets to be peer-reviewed, then often comes biggest kick in the proverbial’s… ‘this paper is of not wide enough interest to the public’. This meritocracy has its gatekeepers. However, one thing is for certain, we all play by the same rule….I hope!
So, why do we torture ourselves over such trifles…well, its hopefully because we are all working to push the boundaries of science.