Monday, October 13, 2014

Scientists Have Biases? Say It Isn't So!

How reliable is academic research? Not very, it seems, after noting that the Journal of Vibration and Control, a reputable academic publication, had to retract 60 different papers over the summer.

The editors concluded that Chen-Yuan Chen, a researcher in Taiwan, had created a “peer-review and citation ring.”

OK, it’s not exactly a “Sopranos” plot. But it’s pretty shady for the world of higher education. Chen went to great lengths to make up fake email addresses and even assume the names of other scientists to write approvingly of his own research.

In a sense, though, he was just exploiting the deep flaws of the peer review system. The academy has become a kind of club where friends give friends flattering assessments of research, which essentially guarantees promotions and tenure.
Sounds a lot like getting "consensus".  Sounds a lot like "global warming" or "climate change" or whatever they're calling it this week.

Political persuasion rears its ugly head, too:
The article, whose lead author is New York University’s Jonathan Haidt, finds that academic psychology has lost nearly all of its political diversity in the last 50 years and that the validity of the discipline has been “undermined” as a result.

And while the authors note that greater political diversity would improve things, nonliberals face a “hostile climate and discrimination.”
To liberals, it's OK to discriminate against conservatives.  It just is.

1 comment:

allen (in Michigan) said...

If scientists didn't have biases and egos and mistresses and kids with orthodontists there wouldn't be any need for the scientific method.

Alas there is a need for the scientific method and no more a crying need then today when the unreasonable rigidity of the scientific method more and more is being "expanded" by the employment of consensus as a much more accommodating standard.