Peer review: the myth of the noble scientist
Peer review is supposed to combat fraud, but it can just as easily hold back radical discoveries, says Terence Kealey writing for The Daily Telegraph (19 Feb, 2008).
Kealey (Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham) goes on to say:
Peer review carries dangers. First, it allows dunderheads to block unexpected ideas. Everybody within the scientific community knows of researchers such as Barbara McClintock, who won the Nobel Prize in 1983 for discovering gene jumping, a process by which scraps of DNA move about the genome. She was forced to publish her findings informally, in the annual reports of the Carnegie Institution, because she could not persuade peer reviewers to accept them. Moreover, peer review is slow, and allows unscrupulous reviewers to plunder their competitors' papers and to block their publication.
To read the full article
Terence Kealey has a new book 'Sex, Science and Profits'
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