Science Publishing Is Incoherent, Expensive, and Slow Communication is essential to science. The aim of scientific publication is to convey new findings as quickly as possible to as many interested parties as possible. But the world of “peer-reviewed” scientific publishing no longer functions as it should. Many publishing practices were devised at a time when … Continue reading “The Tangled Web of Scientific Publishing”
Editor’s note: Part I of The New Racism can be read here. The best way to grasp how sociology has managed to make color-blind racism (CBR) seem believable is to study its Newspeak (to continue the Orwell theme). Whiteness To many modern sociologists, color blindness is a racist weapon that works, somehow, through whiteness, a … Continue reading “The New Racism, Part II: The Sociologist’s Toolkit: Justifying Racism Through Language”
Like most Americans, I have always assumed that color blindness is our ideal. Not any more: color blindness is now become the new racism. So much for a 70-year struggle to fulfill Martin Luther King Jr.’s wish that his children be “judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their … Continue reading “The New Racism, Part I: How ‘Race and Ethnic Studies’ Made Color Blindness a Bad Thing”
“‘Diversity and inclusion’ is the moral benchmark of our time… Every corporation, college, and government agency, along with a growing number of bowling leagues and bait-and-tackle shops, has an Office of Diversity and Inclusion.” So says William Voegeli in a recent article. And so says the University of California at Los Angeles, whose campus-wide Vice … Continue reading “Diversity and Inclusion of Identity Groups Often Means Uniformity and Exclusion of Ideas”
The chickens have come home to roost at Duke’s Divinity School. Protesting students claim the school is insufficiently diverse. More needs to be done, they say, to combat racism, transphobia, homophobia, and associated evils. All this despite a campaign by the administration to achieve these very aims in the course of which a distinguished faculty … Continue reading “Duke Divinity School’s Race to the Bottom”
“The United States is producing more research scientists than academia can handle,” so begins a July 2016 article by respected New York Times science reporter Gina Kolata. It turns out that new PhDs in science have a hard time getting a job like their mentor’s: tenured faculty in a research university. Fifty years ago, in … Continue reading “Science and Its Discontents: Too Few Jobs—or Too Many Scientists?”
Editor’s Note: This is part II; part I can be found here. Professor Brian Wansink is head of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University. The lab has had problems, some described in an article called “Spoiled Science” in the Chronicle of Higher Education early in 2017: Four papers on which he is a … Continue reading “Peer Review: the Publication Game and “the Natural Selection of Bad Science””
The British journal Nature, home in 1953 to Watson and Crick’s important DNA paper, was by 1966 rather in the doldrums, with a backlog of submitted manuscripts and losing ground to the general-science leader, the U.S. journal Science. That year, however, the publisher appointed as editor one John Maddox, a slightly eccentric theoretical physicist and … Continue reading “How Is Science Judged? How Useful Is Peer Review?”
The Pope Center asked four distinguished academics who have been involved with the peer review process as editors, participants, or critics for their opinions about peer review. Here are their responses.
About to retire, Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn, M.D., has just released his 107-page 2014 Wastebook, a tabloid-type listing of over a hundred wasteful government-funded projects. Coburn continues the tradition of the late William Proxmire, the Wisconsin senator who, more modestly, chose just one or two “Golden Fleeces” each year.