Thursday, December 1, 2011

Initial reaction: passably disturbing.

If you recall, I'm not overly fond of Chris de Freitas. It might not be misconduct but this certainly looks like it goes against the ethos of peer review. Science and in particular, the peer review process relies on  other scientists being overly critical of each others work. If a bunch of scientists can't get papers published, it's normally because other scientists have taken them apart. It looks ... suspicious if a new editor starts, they start publishing, only to not be able to publish when the editor leaves.

I recently organized a meeting with my supervisors and some statisticians. I'm sure there was some eye rolling and muttering but it was a good thing. The first thing the statisticians did was rip (to shreds) our experimental design, these were all people I'm on good terms with and who are chasing the same things that I am. It resulted in a mostly new experimental design that will be statistically sound and will provide a good foundation for what we are actually wanting to do. In science, as in cooking, you want your friends to be honest and your work judged on it's merits, so that you can get better, it's then a lot easier to present to the world.

I would think that if the skeptics climate science was sound, they would have been able to get it published before, during and after the presence of a particular editor. Otherwise one would contemplate the possibility that there is something wrong with either the science or the editors. Or both.

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