Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Peer Review (Again!!)

Sense About Science has a nice website. It's a pop-science debunking site, but I was really taken in by the tab on "Peer Review". It's aimed at students, but makes the point that the general public is really in the dark about the process - that it exists at all and what it entails. This link will take you to the pdf.

A few of the points I take issue with, such as 1) you can tell a result is peer reviewed when it has some obscure reference with unintelligible abbreviations, and 2) the statement "Scientist never draw firm conclusions from just one paper or set of results", which is quite laughable. To try and capture all the details and subtleties of peer-review would be impossible, and making general statements is always a balance between keeping some significance to the statement and making it meaninglessly vague.

No comments: