Most of the time - not a small fraction, an actual majority, it's a case of "we went looking for X, but we found Y... Y is genuinely very interesting, but no need to mention we were actually looking for X". And usually there really, honestly isn't any need to mention X, because X turns out to have absolutely no relevance at all.
I agree with that the poor state of peer review is largely exaggerated, though I can't speak for any field besides observational astronomy. It's true that it's not perfect. But it can't be perfect, because frontline research is not like junior school science. It doesn't have perfect answers that rational people will agree on. The only essential requirement of peer review is that is cuts out the blatantly false and fraudulent. When people don't understand this, it's easy to see why they don't trust science when peer reviewed results get overturned all the time.
However, what does worry me is the "publish or perish" culture. Problem is that all papers are created equal in the sight of external evaluators (funding agencies, institutions looking for new hires, etc.). I suggest that one solution might be for the journals to categorise the research and/or the level of review rigour. It would make it a lot easier to see at a glance what sort of research a scientists actually does and discourage (not eliminate) the publication of quick, easy papers which don't actually get us anywhere.
We could also insist that the exchanges between authors and reviewers be made public (even if the identity of the reviewer is kept secret). But, above all, we need to be clear to people what peer review is, what it's for, and what it's not supposed to do.
From the Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Shannon):
"1932, Shannon entered the University of Michigan, where he took a course that introduced him to the work of George Boole. He graduated in 1936 with two bachelor's degrees, one in electrical engineering and one in mathematics. He soon began his graduate studies in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he worked on Vannevar Bush's differential analyzer, an early analog computer.
While studying the complicated ad hoc circuits of the differential analyzer, Shannon saw that Boole's concepts had great utility. A paper drawn from his 1937 master's degree thesis, A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits,was published in the 1938 issue of the Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. It also earned Shannon the Alfred Noble American Institute of American Engineers Award in 1939. Howard Gardner called Shannon's thesis "possibly the most important, and also the most famous, master's thesis of the century."
Victor Shestakov of the Moscow State University, had proposed a theory of systems of electrical switches based on Boolean logic earlier than Shannon in 1935, but the first publication of Shestakov's result was in 1941, after the publication of Shannon's thesis in the United States.
In this work, Shannon proved that his switching circuits could be used to simplify the arrangement of the electromechanicalrelays that were used then in telephone call routing switches. Next, he expanded this concept; proving that these circuits could solve all problems that Boolean algebra could solve. In the last chapter he diagrams several circuits, including a 4-bit full adder. This is the central circuit in all digital computers.
Using this property of electrical switches to implement logic is the fundamental concept that underlies all electronic digital computers. Shannon's work became the foundation of digital circuit design; as it became widely known in the electrical engineering community during and after World War II. The theoretical rigor of Shannon's work superseded the ad hoc methods that had prevailed previously.
Through the Carnegie Institution, Vannevar Bush suggested that Shannon, emboldened by his master's thesis success, should work on his dissertation at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, in order to develop similar mathematical relationships for quantifying Mendelian genetics. This research resulted in Shannon's doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) thesis at MIT in 1940, called An Algebra for Theoretical Genetics.
In 1940, Shannon became a National Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. In Princeton, Shannon had the opportunity to discuss his ideas with influential scientists and mathematicians such as Hermann Weyl and John von Neumann, and he also had occasional encounters with Albert Einstein and Kurt Gödel. Shannon worked freely across disciplines, and this ability may have contributed to his later development of mathematical Information Theory."
Did he share the Nobel price with Victor Shestakov?
and ending with Do not. Fuck. With. Big Bird.
"where does the past meat the present" was the riddle
will want to see this.
- Medical College of WisconsinBiostatistician, 1999 - present
Stephen King Compares Donald Trump To Cthulhu; Cthulhu Issues Angry Deni...
The Great Old One objects to being compared to the GOP presidential candidate.
Tone Analyzer Service Documentation | Watson Developer Cloud
Overview of the Watson™ Tone Analyzer Service. The IBM Watson™ Tone Analyzer Service uses linguistic analysis to detect three types of tones
The cure for pseudoscience: alternative medicine - The Panda's Thumb
I just saw my colleague Paul Strode, with whom I wrote a book a few years ago. Knowing my interest in pseudoscience, Mr. Dr. Science Teacher
feedly: organize, read and share what matters to you.
Feedly connects you to the information and knowledge you care about. We help you get more out of you work, education, hobbies and interests.
Lessons From the Vivid Writing of Lovecraft’s Dagon
Howard Phillips Lovecraft is a major influence on the cosmic horror genre, to the point that it’s often called Lovecraftian horror. The man
“When that 3 A.M. call comes in, and Mr. Trump is busy on Twitter, Dr. Carson and Governor Palin will be there.”
co.combinatorics - Pursuit-Evasion type game on graph ("Flyswatter game"...
An instance of the "flyswatter game" is defined by a graph $G$ and positive integer $k$. There are two players, A (the 'fly') and B (the 'sw
CRISPR's hopeful monsters: gene-editing storms evo-devo labs
Easy gene alterations in weird creatures make CRISPR a killer app for evolutionary developmental biology.
Integrating Horizontal Gene Transfer and Common Descent to Depict Evolut...
Previous article in issue: Using Protistan Examples to Dispel the Myths of Intelligent Design. Previous article in issue: Using Protistan Ex