The NYTimes ran a story Wednesday, March 16th, on scientists not waiting for peer review to publish their work. Bad idea. The article goes a long way in detailing the angst researchers feel in trying to get their work published in accepted peer review publications, sometimes it takes years for it to happen.
While the modernization of the peer review process is something to seriously consider, scientists publishing their research on the internet portends ominous consequences. The article mentions that even with peer review science can screw up: “Others note that plenty of peer-reviewed papers in high-profile journals have proved to be wrong…”
Although it seems what infuses most of science stories is new discoveries and findings, science is also responsible for telling us what we don’t know. That seems to get lost in all the hoopla over what some young scientist has gone and found.
Piltdown, cold fusion, and vaccines causes autism are examples of science-hype that is all wrong. Will it take some scientist publishing their work on the internet, getting pickup by Facebook, and going viral, but to be “tragically” wrong to prove this argument?