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Peer review is deeply tainted?

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From Matt Ridley/Donna Laframboise at Science New/The Times:

The latest university prank is embarrassing to academia and hilarious for the rest of us.

Yes. The conceptual penis. And before that:

This happened last year, too, when Professor Mark Carey published an even more absurd paper arguing that “a critical but overlooked aspect of the human dimensions of glaciers and global change research is the relationship between gender and glaciers” and introducing “feminist glaciology”. In that case, however, the professor continues to insist, against all evidence, that he was serious. Science magazine gave him a lengthy, softball interview to justify his work after it was laughed at on the internet. I still think he’s a joker in deep cover.More.

Yeah. We remember those glaciers dancing in their underwear too.

But isn’t the real story something like this?: Naturalism is rotting science from the head down and we are all paying? If we do not believe that humans can discover facts, how can we maintain that anything is or isn’t true? Isn’t it just “up to the individual” until the government intervenes?

Look, objectivity is now sexist and math is racist. That should make science grading easier.

See also: How naturalism rots science from the head down

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5 Replies to “Peer review is deeply tainted?

  1. 1
    EDTA says:

    Perhaps someday, Alan Sokal will be held in the same esteem as Einstein and Feynman for having originated the postmodern scholarly hoax, and at least tried to course-correct academia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair

    P.S. When I logged in to post this comment, I was prompted to solve a math problem to prove I’m not a robot. Can we turn that off? The answer has to be “correct” (whatever that means now) before I can proceed. 😎

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    The purpose of the Sokal hoax was to test whether this particular cultural studies journal actually practiced the academic rigor to which the field pretended. The hoax succeeded not because peer review failed but because it was never properly applied. The journal did not refer the paper to a physicist for review by an expert in the field.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    There was an undergrad student who got a symbolic PhD degree in reaction to his email addressed to the main coauthor of an important paper from a prestigious university that was published in a peer-reviewed journal.
    Basically the paper was about post-translational modifications, but at the conclusion it mistakenly referred to post-transcriptional modifications instead.
    The leading author admitted the embarrassing mistake and confessed his astonishment because he couldn’t understand how that error had gone undetected under the peer-review radar.
    The mentioned paper was referenced here in this site too.
    The only explanation that was given is that sometimes it takes outsiders to uncover mistakes the experts don’t detect. It seems to be associated with fast reading text, kind of hovering on the text, rather than reading it carefully. The student was using the text to learn biology, hence he was very interested in understanding every detail exactly. The peer-reviewers already know the subject of the text and may just read it quickly to see if they spot any major problem. Perhaps there are other explanations?

  4. 4
    asauber says:

    Only a complete ignoramus would rely on peer review to draw conclusions about anything.

    Peer review is just appeal to bureaucracy. What is that worth?

    Andrew

  5. 5

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