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Old 10-17-2010, 05:57 AM   #16
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That's one reason, of course, that scientific journal have a peer-review process, to try to see that "bad science" doesn't make it into print. Research reported in such journals is generally more trustworthy than independently-published reports.
Or at least more consistent with what that small enclave of the scientific community believes to be the case.
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:00 AM   #17
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Or at least more consistent with what that small enclave of the scientific community believes to be the case.
One reason, though, that the peer-review process is anonymous (the reviewer doesn't know the name of the author(s) of the article being reviewed, and the author doesn't know who's reviewing it) is to try to eliminate the element of personal bias.
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:14 AM   #18
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One reason, though, that the peer-review process is anonymous (the reviewer doesn't know the name of the author(s) of the article being reviewed, and the author doesn't know who's reviewing it) is to try to eliminate the element of personal bias.
I wasn't so much thinking of personal bias, but I think it is very difficult to get scientific work even reviewed, let alone published, if the claims that the work makes are in tension with what the big hitters in a particular discipline are saying. There are all sorts of reasons for this - academic career progression and access to funding are two significant ones. Science tends to progress by fairy steps and the sociology of science does suggest that giant leaps that go in a direction different from the prevailing wisdom are difficult to make and have accepted.
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:21 AM   #19
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If you were to come up with a claim that, say, there's fundamental flaw in Maxwell's equations, then yes, I agree that you'd need to have pretty convincing evidence to get it published in a mainstream journal. I don't think, though, that it's a bad thing that such journals tend to steer clear of "fringe" viewpoints.
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:23 AM   #20
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i fail to see what religion debate has to do with the providing of accurate information about the origin of the universe.
I went out, did not smoke a cigarette because I quit a week ago, but got an example anyway about the relation between religion discussions and the origin of the Universe (note the use of capital letters).

Like the Papua Aborigines discussing about the nature of the metal bird that flies high above their heads. Their discussion is totally irrelevant to the aerodynamics, the economy, in general to the actual nature of the metal bird.

It becomes relevant if the metal bird falls down and all sorts of events develop, like the beautiful movie depicts.
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:27 AM   #21
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I've got compelling evidence that the 2nd law of thermodynamics is wrong... plenty of YouTube videos showing people with machines that are perpetual... and that the "dark coats" are oppressing them!

... hang on, someone's at my door ...
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:09 AM   #22
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Is that survey biased?
Why else would they deliberately omit Wikipedia as a source of trusted information??
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:19 AM   #23
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Is that survey biased?
Why else would they deliberately omit Wikipedia as a source of trusted information??
*snicker snort*
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:45 AM   #24
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That's one reason, of course, that scientific journal have a peer-review process, to try to see that "bad science" doesn't make it into print. Research reported in such journals is generally more trustworthy than independently-published reports.
No doubt about that point in my mind. That is: a review is better than none.

Nevertheless it is quite common that the reviewing process is very often controlled by lobbying mechanisms, as it is fundamental for the career's advancements of the authors, and for the clout of the reviewers.

More than trustworthiness of science, my doubts are about science communication, both thorough journals and conference (at large) and press.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:49 AM   #25
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No doubt about that point in my mind. That is: a review is better than none.

Nevertheless it is quite common that the reviewing process is very often controlled by lobbying mechanisms, as it is fundamental for the career's advancements of the authors, and for the clout of the reviewers.
Having been involved in the peer review process, both as an author and as a reviewer, in my field at least (astronomy) I was certainly not aware of any "lobbying" to conform to particular viewpoints.

Do you have any specific examples in mind, beppe?
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:56 AM   #26
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Having been involved in the peer review process, both as an author and as a reviewer, in my field at least (astronomy) I was certainly not aware of any "lobbying" to conform to particular viewpoints.

Do you have any specific examples in mind, beppe?

I'd love to hear them as well.

Certainly in the popular/public/news media there is spin and trickery etc. But there have been very few cases of outright bias or fraud in the peer-reviewed journals and the few times it has happened it has been revealed and dealt swiftly.

Maybe he is referring to this sort of thing:

http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54893/

http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~wstarbuc/Writing/Prejud.htm

and a whole raft of google results:

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=...=1&oi=scholart
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:59 AM   #27
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Perhaps Beppe is rather referring to the massaging of results from study and research papers, particularly with items that are being offered to consumers, like drugs, therapies, electronic components or processes etc.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:02 AM   #28
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Perhaps Beppe is rather referring to the massaging of results from study and research papers, particularly with items that are being offered to consumers, like drugs, therapies, electronic components or processes etc.
I can't speak for what goes on in the world of "commercial" science; my field was pure research.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:04 AM   #29
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Yes, I think there needs to be that distinction between pure research science vs commercial-"science".
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:40 AM   #30
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Only the Beppe knows for sure....
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