My post, "Do we need more journals?" generated a lot of comments, showing that the associated issues are something people have strong opinions about.
I think it important to consider some distinct questions that the community needs to debate.
What research fields, topics, and projects should we work on?
When is a specific research result worth communicating to the relevant research community?
Who should be co-authors of that communication?
What is the best method of communicating that result to the community?
How should the "performance" and "potential" of individuals, departments, and institutions be evaluated?
A major problem for science is that over the past two decades the dominant answer to the last question (metrics such as Journal "Impact" Factors and citations) is determining the answer to the other questions. This issue has been nicely discussed by Carl Caves.
The tail is wagging the dog.
People flock to "hot" topics that can produce quick papers, may attract a lot of citations, and are beloved by the editors of luxury journals. Results are often obtained and analysed in a rush, not checked adequately, and presented in the "best" possible light with a bias towards exotic explanations. Co-authors are sometimes determined by career issues and the prospect of increasing the probability of publication in a luxury journal, rather than by scientific contribution.
Finally, there is a meta-question that is in the background. The question is actually more important but harder to answer.
How are the answers to the last question being driven by broader moral and political issues?
Examples include the rise of the neoliberal management class, treatment of employees, democracy in the workplace, inequality, post-truth, the value of status and "success", economic instrumentalism, ...