Lies, damned lies

The best science journalism paper IMHO this year is about a researcher who could resist the

intellectual conflict of interest that pressures researchers to find whatever it is that is most likely to get them funded

The story may be found at Even worse to face here that

scientists and science journalists are constantly talking up the value of the peer- review process, researchers admit among themselves that biased, erroneous, and even blatantly fraudulent studies easily slip through it. Nature, the grande dame of science journals, stated in a 2006 editorial, “Scientists understand that peer review per se provides only a minimal assurance of quality, and that the public conception of peer review as a stamp of authentication is far from the truth.”

That is very much the same as reported over at Peering over Peer-review

Peer review means that a couple of people who (an Editor thinks) are qualified have looked at a submitted paper and said it’s OK to publish in the journal in question.

Post peer review gets therefore increasing importance finds at least Nature yesterday with “Response required

In the face of worldwide attention on their paper (F. Wolfe-Simon et al. Science doi:10.1126/science.1197258; 2010), which NASA and the team deliberately courted, the researchers have stuck their heads in the digital sand.
In response to the arsenic bacterium claims, bloggers and researchers raised serious and thoughtful reservations about the paper’s methodology and findings.

I strongly believe that crowd sourcing of data review is the only solution, see also the next post here on the inability of being an expert and look at

To improve the quality of the reports, we have chosen to introduce a concept of ‘crowd-journalism’ as a subform of crowdsourcing. Reports have to be posted, reviewed and if necessary corrected on the Quality Control System. This will lead to an enormous advantage over conventional journalism. The goal is to give everybody the possibility to get involved to bring success with the possibility of a totally independent reporting.

The last link today, however, goes to all-those-worthless-papers.