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Abstract

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.

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