Culture Darwinism Peer review

Skepticism can be just another scheme for avoiding reality

In “The Believing Brain: Why Science Is the Only Way Out of Belief-Dependent Realism” Scientific American (July 5, 2011), Michael Shermer informs us, dependency on belief and its host of psychological biases is why, in science, we have built-in self-correcting machinery. Strict double-blind controls are required, in which neither the subjects nor the experimenters know Read More…

News Peer review Science

National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins faces a problem more challenging than the human genome: Race bias

Social signals are potent, and among the most potent are “Who You Know” and “Who You Owe.” Trouble is, these signals tend to travel exclusive channels. Subtle checklists lurk at every turn. And quantitative research methods often do not identify key signals like “Do WE need him to succeed?” Insightful qualitative analysis is the next step.

Peer review

“Cutting journals out of scientific publishing to a large extent would be unconditionally a good thing”

At Genomes Unzipped: Personal Public Genomics, Joe Pickrell starts another round of “What’s wrong with peer review,” raising the stakes: He asks, “Why publish science in peer-reviewed journals?” (13/07/2011), arguing In this post, I will argue that cutting journals out of scientific publishing to a large extent would be unconditionally a good thing, and that Read More…

Intellectual freedom Peer review

Worried about getting a good affordable education in Darwinworld?

Naomi Schaefer Riley discusses “The Economic Upside to Ending Tenure” ( Chronicle of Higher Education, June 19, 2011): In her new book, The Faculty Lounges: and Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Paid For (Ivan R. Dee), Naomi Schaefer Riley argues that faculty tenure is among the factors contributing to the Read More…

Evolutionary psychology Peer review

Evilicious?: Monkeys r’ us prof Marc Hauser barred from Harvard lecture room

From New Scientist we learn, “Shamed Harvard scientist is barred from the classroom” (Peter Aldhous, 21 April 2011): Marc Hauser, the prominent animal cognition researcher found guilty of scientific misconduct by Harvard University last year, is to receive no rapid rehabilitation by his closest colleagues. He’s the one who made Discover’s Top Ten Retractions list Read More…

Peer review

Peer review ineffectiveness findings make waves

At AITSE (Caroline Crocker’s outfit), we are reminded of an Atlantic article (November 2010) on how little peer review actually contributes to the growth of a stable knowledge base: Dr. John Ioannidis, formerly of Harvard University, Johns Hopkins and National Institutes of Health, is currently leading a team investigating whether medical research studies can be Read More…