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No one pays attention to science paper rebuttals

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From Annalee Newitz at Ars Technica:

The classic model of scientific progress is that the field advances when new findings contradict or supersede old ones. But a new study reveals that this process isn’t working today—at least, not in scientific journals, where most data is shared with colleagues. Indeed, the researchers found that “rebuttals scarcely alter scientific perceptions about the original papers.” More.

That’s bad news. It’s the Gossip Model of news dissemination. The gossip that flew around town building is recollected far more sharply and frequently than any clarification.

See also: Most science findings wrong or useless? The replication crisis (few studies are done to replicate cool new findings) had been noted for decades but no one did anything about it. Now there’s Retraction Watch but it is difficult to change an institutional culture quickly.

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One Reply to “No one pays attention to science paper rebuttals

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    “No one pays attention to science paper rebuttals”

    Why should we expect anyone to pay attention to important things these days? Much less to do it with a discerning mind that tests everything and holds onto what is good, according to an absolute objective standard established by the recognized authority on every given subject?
    Aren’t we humans opinionated -in a wide variety of issues- instead of being open-minded, always willing to think out of any preconceived boxes, ready to understand other points of views, though not necessarily agreeing?
    Do we normally pay attention to the contextual meaning of words and expressions?
    Some very dear to me persons were talking about their plans to travel to California soon: flight schedules, hotel and rental car bookings, etc. When I jokingly warned them to stay away from Hotel California lest they won’t be able to go back home, their reaction was surprising to me, because I expected them to know that song better than me (their knowledge of English language is much better than mine). They argued that Hotel California must have been a pleasant place to be in, because the song kept repeating “such a lovely place”! Definitely they didn’t know the whole lyrics and took that phrase completely out of context. Very dangerous. A major mistake, which is seen repeated all over around us, and I probably make it often too.
    Don Henley, the guy from Texas -cofounder of The Eagles- who apparently -along with the late Glenn Frey- wrote most of the lyrics for that song (the music was initially composed by Don Felder, a group member from Gainesville, Florida), said that the song was a critical description -from their personal perspectives- of the South California lifestyle myth of the mid 1970s. The song lyrics, written in narrative format, describes a kind of weird place that apparently did not please the writer, even though he was hearing people saying “such a lovely place” over and over, day and night.
    The song text concludes saying that the last thing he remembers is looking for the door to find a way out to go back to the place he was before coming to California, but it was too late. As the night man told him, in that weird place they were programmed to receive, hence the desperate young man could check out anytime he would like, but he could never leave. Actually, right after Don Henley ended singing, Don Felder and Joe Walsh performed one of the best rock music guitar solo (in a duo!) that I recall hearing.

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