The central weakness of totalitarianism is that it exalts the powerful lie over the fact. But nature doesn’t reward that behavior. It may take a long or short time for the system to collapse (and other systems can collapse for other reasons). But the insistence that 2+2=5 if the Party says so is a lethal flaw.
Yes. And with luck, retirement works the same way. Many Darwinians are looking kind of like they could use a break and there is lots to research.
In other words, even if social scientists can replicate research results, there may be little agreement about what, if anything, they mean. Is it a good idea for governments to consult them on social policy?
To understand how citation cartels come to exist, it’s helpful to recall Goodhart’s Law, as explained by Robert J. Marks: Why it’s so hard to reform peer review: Reformers are battling numerical laws that govern how incentives work. Know your enemy!
It was an online poll which drew in 4300 Nature readers, and the proportion claiming such influence was higher than in previous surveys.
Would these newer approaches to science publishing make it easier to discuss difficult topics? For example, if Gunter Bechly could have been evaluated only on his work and not on the fact that he switched sides in the Darwin wars, wouldn’t that be better for everyone but Darwin trolls?
But look on the bright side. At least they care. In the social sciences, it’s the guy revealing flimflam who gets punished. But why, exactly, is a PhD so important? The Sokal hoax-ees all have PhDs, probably, and what good did that ever do?
The panic in sociology, psychology, nutrition science, and pharmacology has been growing as >70% papers with “p-values” smaller than 0.05 are discovered to be unrepeatable.
The historic moment here is the university’s awesome lack of a sense of shame. At one time, people would ask hard questions of themselves if they looked as silly as this, rather than rushing to blame someone else.
It sounds like, in their ideal scenario, the rest of us would never know, except for our own experience, if what they are saying is incorrect.
In the midst of all the sham, scam, and flimflam in journals today, here’s a story of a real-life data detective who makes a difference.
The distinction is that low-quality papers might happen to fall through the cracks now and then and a cherry picker could gin up an indictment of a whole field unjustly. BUT when a number of hoax papers get accepted by various journals, that points to deeper systemic rot. Especially when the social science profs are enraged rather than ashamed
Another question: Why are so many studies done about why laypeople don’t trust science and comparatively few done on what’s the matter with people who DO “trust science” in an atmosphere where this stuff seems to flourish unchecked?
Laws concerning the way people behave around numbers mean that quantification itself invites certain types of corruption.
But maybe this historian of science’s idea can’t work. Many doctors are prepared to slay beautiful theories for the sake of the lives of their patients. Have social scientists any similar motivation?