Intelligent Design Peer review Science

Gregory Chaitin on the dead hand of bureaucracy in science

Chaitin: I have a pessimistic vision which I hope is completely wrong, that the bureaucracies are like a cancer — the ones that control research and funding for research and counting how much you’ve been publishing. I’ve noticed that at universities, for example, the administrative personnel are gradually taking all the best buildings and expanding. So I think that the bureaucracy and the rules and regulations increases to the point that it sinks the society.

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Why is Retraction Watch not what we hoped it would be?

Rob Sheldon: There was nothing either unethical or inaccurate in the paper. The conclusions were wrong. This is true of over 50% of papers in the literature. Further papers show why the conclusions were wrong. No one retracts a paper because the data was interpreted improperly. For example, Newton’s conclusion that the universe was unstable. Einstein’s conclusion that a cosmological constant could stabilize it.

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Authors of article on female vs male mentorship have now retracted their own paper

The bottom line is that—in a move worthy of an existentialist writer like Kafka—Cancel Culture has succeeded in making actual issues around mentorship dangerous to discuss. The big loser is equity, of course, because if one can’t discuss actual issues (like guys are higher in the hierarchy at present), then one can’t propose useful approaches. But there is always, of course, a bureaucrat out there (many, actually), quite ready to conduct a seminar, etc., which will change nothing because no one can afford to be honest.

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Cancel Culture tries to get a Nature Communications paper retracted

We are informed that all science Twitter is in a ghastly rage over an open access paper in Nature Communications which seems to show that female scientists benefit more from male mentors than from female mentors. To a layperson with some life experience, that wouldn’t be a surprising outcome at all. In a system that has been male-dominated since forever, more guys would be higher up on the pole. And if you want to get ahead, it pays to know Top People… But, of course, the Outrage Mob is sharpening the guillotine. Their final enemy is, after all, reality in any of its forms.

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Gizmodo asks experts to name the biggest science frauds of the past 50 years

Dr. Hesselmann’s probably right but how depressing. In a world where so much research that doesn’t involve fraud fails replication, it’s just a fact that most published research papers in many fields are probably wrong or at least sloppy. So why bother with fraud? But not exactly a good look for science.