Wow. Academic Hoax (Part 2 Added)

Three people conducted what they call a ‘grievance studies’ experiment. They wrote fake papers on ridiculous subjects and submitted them to prominent academic journals in fields that study gender, race, and sexuality….

…CONTINUING THE DESCRIPTION FROM ABOVE…

They did this to “expose a political corruption that has taken hold of the universities,” say the hoaxers in a video which documented the process.

John Stossel interviewed James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian, who along with Helen Pluckrose, sent so-called research papers to 20 journals.

They were surprised when seven papers were accepted. One claimed that “dog humping incidents at dog parks” can be taken as “evidence of rape culture.” It was honored as “excellent scholarship.”

Another paper rewrote a section of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf as intersectional feminism.

Stossel assumed that the journals would apologize for publishing nonsense and question the quality of their scholarship. But instead they criticized the the hoaxers, complaining that they “engaged in flawed and unethical research.”

Of course, that was the point of the hoax.

Boghossian is unapologetic, telling Stossel the hoax shows “scholarship in these disciplines is utterly corrupted … they have placed an agenda before the truth.”

When Stossel suggests, “maybe you are just conservative hacks looking to defend your white privilege.” Lindsay replied “I’ve never voted for a republican in my life.” Boghossian added, “Nor have I.”

Stossel says what upsets him is that after the hoax “no university said ‘we’re not gonna use these journals’ and no editor publicly said, ‘we have to raise our standards.’”

Instead, Portland State University began disciplinary procedures against Boghossian.

OLDER PEER REVIEW ISSUES:


PART TWO


Seven academic journals recently published papers that were actually hoaxes designed to show the absurdity of academic fields like gender studies, race studies, queer studies, etc.

MORE…

The hoaxers intentionally submitted papers that were ridiculous; one included gibberish about rape culture in dog parks. Another was a section of Hitler’s Mein Kampf re-written with feminist buzzwords. John Stossel covered the hoax here: https://youtu.be/As8h2ZCfIPs

Six journal editors would not talk to Stossel, but one — Roberto Refinetti, editor in chief of “Sexuality and Culture” — agreed to an interview.

He condemns what the hoaxers did: “You’re deceiving people without much of a reason.”

He complains, “If you’re going to do your research with people, you have to propose your research, submit to a body called an Institutional Review Board.” 

One of the hoaxers, Peter Boghossian, was found guilty by his employer (Portland State University) of violating their rules requiring him to get approval for the hoax.

Of course, since the Institutional Review Board would have insisted that the researchers inform the journals that they were being tested, the test wouldn’t have worked.

Stossel says he thinks the hoaxers had good reason not to go to the review board first. “Their hoax woke us up to the fact that some academic journals publish nonsense,” he says.

Refinetti’s journal, for instance, published the hoax paper titled, “Going in Through the Back Door: Challenging Straight Male Homohysteria, Transhysteria, and Transphobia Through Receptive Penetrative Sex Toy Use.”

The paper touted “encouraging male anal eroticism with sex toys” because it would help make men more feminist.

“Sexuality and Culture” published that paper after its reviewers praised it glowingly. One called it, “an incredibly rich and exciting contribution… timely, and worthy of publication.”

Refinetti defends his journal, saying that it publishes mind-expanding questions.

“What is the problem with [the subject of the paper]? I don’t see a problem… It’s nothing really absurd or unusual,” Refinetti says.

He also says: “Let’s question our assumptions, because maybe we’re making assumptions that we shouldn’t be making… When homosexuality was considered a mental illness. People pushed, the psychiatrists got together, and said… ‘it’s a perfectly fine thing to choose and not to call it mental illness.’ So that’s the type of thing that a journal in sexuality and culture does, is discuss.”

Discussion is good, Stossel agrees. But in journals today, it seems that only certain conclusions are permitted. The hoaxers complain that in many university fields: “A culture has developed in which only certain conclusions are allowed, like those that make whiteness and masculinity problematic.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that in some places that is correct,” Refinetti agrees.

“Is that a problem?” asks Stossel.

Refinetti replies: “How big of a problem is it? Is it worse than hunger? Is it worse than people shooting each other?”

But a lack of diversity of ideas does make it harder to find truth — and more likely for ridiculous ideas to thrive. Today’s colleges have an extreme lack of diversity — A National Association of Scholars report found that professors at top liberal arts colleges are ten times more likely to be Democrats than Republicans.

Refinetti says that’s not surprising.

“I think it’s very reasonable  — because what is the job of learning?… being more open to new ideas, which is what being a liberal is,” he says.

Stossel pushes back: “This is your left leaning definition; it’s conservatives that proposed changes like school vouchers… privatizing air traffic control.”

“That’s an interesting point,” Refinetti responds. “Then the hypothesis is shut down. See, that’s how things work. You show the idea, you discuss the idea, and get it.”

Refinetti says his journal publishes multiple viewpoints. It has published articles that question feminist orthodoxy.

Stossel says he’s grateful that Refinetti was willing to have a conversation — but he still cheers the hoaxers for revealing that much of what passes for scholarship at colleges is bunk.

Peer-Review Issues | Sharyl Attkinsson

See some other posts:

Key exchange:

Sharyl: What’s your view of how much we can trust the articles that appear in these prestigious medical journals?

Dr. Howard Pomeranz: One always has to be aware of the possibility that somebody who is an author or coauthor or someone who is consulted to help support the research was a paid consultant by the pharmaceutical industry and that’s not always apparent.

Dr. Howard Pomeranz is a neuro-ophthalmologist at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. He’s authored dozens of journal articles and says many studies are written by academic researchers fraught with conflicts of interest.

Sharyl: In some cases, it sounds like it’s nothing more than advertising by an employee that works for a drug company.

Pomeranz: It is and I think that’s often the way you have to look at it.

Angell: I came to the New England Journal of Medicine in 1979. Starting about then was when you saw the drug companies assert more and more control until finally they over the next couple of decades, they began to treat the researchers as hired hands. They would design the research themselves. You know you can do a lot of mischief in how you design a trial. Or we’ll test this drug and we’ll tell you whether it can be published or not, and so if it’s a positive study, it’s published, if it’s a negative study, it’ll never see the light of day.

That happened in 2000. The makers of an experimental AIDS vaccine threatened to sue Dr. James Kahn, their lead researcher at the University of California San Francisco for $7 million, to keep him from publishing study results showing the vaccine didn’t work.

Angell: An official of the company said something to the effect of, ‘we have put $30 million into that study, we have our rights,’ or something like that.

Angell says as she applied due diligence to the many studies submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine, it started to feel like a losing battle.

Angell: I would call up and say, okay, you’ve shown that your drug is pretty good. But there’s not a single side effect. Any drug that does anything is going to have some side effects. And I had people say, ‘well the sponsor won’t let me’. And so, I became to be extremely distrustful of most of the research that was published. We did our very best, we often rejected things because it was clearly biased, but anything we rejected always ended up in another journal.

Angell left the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000, but kept her eye on the journal industry, which she says resisted meaningful efforts to rein in conflicts of interest. In 2009, she wrote an article that famously declared “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published.”

Sharyl: What would you say is the state of the journal landscape today and the New England Journal of Medicine, particularly?

Angell: I think that that role that the New England Journal used to fill, one was the role of being skeptical, the other was the role of caring about the ethics of the whole system. I think the journal has given that up, the New England Journal of Medicine has given that up.

The New England Journal of Medicine declined our interview requests, but told us “since 1984 we have requested author disclosures.” In 2009, the journal says it helped pioneer a universal form requesting “that authors report all relevant financial conflicts” during the most recent three years. And it posts the form and study sponsorship. Besides Dr. Angell, another powerful voice is also weighing in. The current Editor in Chief of the British journal Lancet, Dr. Richard Horton, wrote a scathing editorial saying: “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue; science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

Annie Waldman: Be skeptical about everything. Be skeptical about every study that you read, whether it’s in the New England Journal of Medicine or some journal you’ve never heard of.

Annie Waldman writes for the nonprofit ProPublica.

Another article referencing issues with peer-review comes via THE BLAZE:

A peer-reviewed academic journal was recently duped in a hilarious way.

Two academics, Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay, recently used pen names to submit an academic paper to a peer-reviewed academic journal to expose the absurdity of modern gender studies by arguing that the male reproductive organ known as the penis is a “social construct.”

The 3,000-word paper was titled, “The Conceptual Penis As A Social Construct,” and was submitted, and published, to the “Cogent Social Sciences” academic journal in its May edition. Lindsay and Boghossian cited 20 sources in their paper, many of which they said they made up or never read….

When “Peer-Reviewed” Is Used To Hold the Line (UPDATED)

(UPDATED) Via Fox News and Climate Depot:

Some are calling it the new “Climategate.”

A paper by Lennart Bengtsson, a respected research fellow and climatologist at Britain’s University of Reading, was rejected last February by a leading academic journal after a reviewer found it “harmful” to the climate change agenda. The incident is prompting new charges that the scientific community is muzzling dissent when it comes to global warming.

“[Bengtsson] has been a very prolific publisher and was considered one of the top scientists in the mainstream climate community,” said Marc Morano, of the website ClimateDepot.com, which is devoted to questioning global warming.

Bengtsson had grown increasingly skeptical of the scientific consensus, often cited by President Obama, that urgent action is needed to curb carbon emissions before climate change exacts an irreversible toll on the planet with extreme drought, storms and rising seas levels.

The president repeatedly has rejected naysayers in the climate debate — most recently, when he spoke May 9 in Mountainview, Calif. “We’ve still got some climate deniers who shout loud, but they’re wasting everybody’s time on a settled debate,” he said.

The administration recently released a comprehensive climate report that critics worry will be used to justify additional environmental regulations.

Bengtsson’s paper, submitted to the journal Environmental Research Letters, found that greenhouse gas emissions might be less harmful and cause less warming than computer models project. For that, Morano said, Bengtssonpaid a steep price.

“They’ve threatened him. They’ve bullied him. They’ve pulled his papers. They’re now going through everything they can to smear his reputation. And the ‘they’ I’m referring to is the global warming establishment,” Morano said.

…read more…

A good portion of the article is below, thanks to The Global Warming Policy Foundation, any more will require denaro [a subscription] (See also the Daily Mail for a fuller dealing with the topic): 

…The unnamed scientist concluded: “Actually it is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of ‘errors’ and worse from the climate skeptic s media side.”

In other words, the truth hurts our advocacy. Scientists should not have a global warming or a skeptic “side.” According to the Oxford dictionary science is, The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. Notice there is nothing about suppressing the observations and experiments you don’t like.

Professor Bengtsson resigned from the advisory board of Lord Lawson of Blaby’s climate skeptic think-tank this week after being subjected to what he described as McCarthy-style pressure from fellow academics.

Lord Lawson, the former Conservative chancellor, said that the pressure exerted by other climate scientists had been appalling and the comparison with McCarthyism was “fully warranted”.

And this study didn’t even argue that climate change is happening, only that it is happening more slowly…

(The Lid)

 

In an echo of the infamous “Climategate” scandal at the University of East Anglia, one of the world’s top academic journals rejected the work of five experts after a reviewer privately denounced it as “harmful”.

Lennart Bengtsson, a research fellow at the University of Reading and one of the authors of the study, said he suspected that intolerance of dissenting views on climate science was preventing his paper from being published. “The problem we now have in the climate community is that some scientists are mixing up their scientific role with that of a climate activist,” he added.

Professor Bengtsson’s paper challenged the finding of the UN’s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the global average temperature would rise by up to 4.5C if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were allowed to double.

It suggested that the climate might be much less sensitive to greenhouse gases than had been claimed by the IPCC in its report last September, and recommended that more work be carried out “to reduce the underlying uncertainty”.

The five contributing scientists, from America and Sweden, submitted the paper to Environmental Research Letters, one of the most highly regarded journals, at the end of last year but were told in February that it had been rejected.

A scientist asked by the journal to assess the paper under the peer review process wrote that he strongly advised against publishing it because it was “less than helpful”.

The unnamed scientist concluded: “Actually it is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of ‘errors’ and worse from the climate sceptics media side.”

Professor Bengtsson resigned from the advisory board of Lord Lawson of Blaby’s climate sceptic think-tank this week after being subjected to what he described as McCarthy-style pressure from fellow academics.

Lord Lawson, the former Conservative chancellor, said that the pressure exerted by other climate scientists had been appalling and the comparison with McCarthyism was “fully warranted”.

The claims are a stark reminder of events at the University of East Anglia in 2009. Scientists there were accused of manipulating data and suppressing critics of global warming predictions in the run-up to the crucial Copenhagen climate change conference.

They were later cleared, though the IPCC was found to have misrepresented their research by failing to reflect uncertainties over raw temperature data.

Professor Bengtsson, the former director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, said he accepted that emissions would increase the global average temperature but the key question was how quickly.

He added that it was “utterly unacceptable” to advise against publishing a paper on the ground that the findings might be used by climate sceptics to advance their arguments. “It is an indication of how science is gradually being influenced by political views. The reality hasn’t been keeping up with the [computer] models. Therefore, if people are proposing to do major changes to the world’s economic system we must have much more solid information.”

Scientists from around the world sent messages of support to Professor Bengtsson. David Gee, a former geology professor at Uppsala University in Sweden, wrote: “The pressure on you from the climate community simply confirms the worst aspects of politicised science. I have been reprimanded myself for opposing the climate bandwagon, with its blind dedication to political ambitions…..

Mark Steyn (Steyn Online) has some commentary that underlies the “peer pressure” or the peer-review process:

Here’s what Phil Jones of the CRU and his colleague Michael Mann of Penn State mean by “peer review.” When Climate Research published a paper dissenting from the Jones-Mann “consensus,” Jones demanded that the journal “rid itself of this troublesome editor,” and Mann advised that “we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers.”

So much for Climate Research. When Geophysical Research Letters also showed signs of wandering off the “consensus” reservation, Dr. Tom Wigley (“one of the world’s foremost experts on climate change”) suggested they get the goods on its editor, Jim Saiers, and go to his bosses at the American Geophysical Union to “get him ousted.” When another pair of troublesome dissenters emerge, Dr. Jones assured Dr. Mann, “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

Which in essence is what they did. The more frantically they talked up “peer review” as the only legitimate basis for criticism, the more assiduously they turned the process into what James Lewis calls the Chicago machine politics of international science. The headline in The Wall Street Journal Europe is unimprovable: “How To Forge A Consensus.” Pressuring publishers, firing editors, blacklisting scientists: That’s “peer review,” climate-style.

“Climategate” wasn’t only about the science – “Hide the decline” et al. It was also about the general thuggishness with which Mann and his gang treated anyone who disagreed with them, however mildly: The science is settled. Got it? Nice little peer-review journal you got here. Shame if anything were to happen to it….

…read more…

“The Problem With Peer-Review” ~ Serious Saturday

On this episode of ID the Future, host David Boze interviews Casey Luskin about the importance of peer-review within the scientific community. The 50th pro-intelligent design paper was recently published, despite the frequent claim by critics that there are no peer-reviewed published papers supporting ID. Although such criticism has been seen to be invalid, it still raises the question–must a scientific theory appear in a peer-reviewed journal in order to be good, legitimate science?

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Literature Building a Compelling Case for ID

On this episode of ID The Future, Casey Luskin puts to rest once and for all the common assertion by opponents of intelligent design that there are no scientific papers supporting the claims of ID. This wasn’t true in 2005 when Eugenie Scott of the NCSE stated it on MSNBC and it certainly isn’t true six years later. Luskin discusses the most recent scientific paper, by Stephen Meyer and Paul Nelson, and talks about the importance of the peer-reviewed scientific literature: “These papers collectively make a case that intelligent causation is necessary to produce the sort of biological complexity that we are discovering in the cell today.”