Ocean Phytoplankton Apocalypse—Perhaps Not

|

Green goo - Not missing after all

Last summer, Nature published a worrisome study by a team of researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia that found that oceanic plankton had declined by as much as 40 percent over the last century. The researchers suggested much of the decline might be related to man-made global warming. The AP reported:

Despite their tiny size, plant plankton found in the world's oceans are crucial to much of life on Earth. They are the foundation of the bountiful marine food web, produce half the world's oxygen and suck up harmful carbon dioxide.

And they are declining sharply.

Worldwide phytoplankton levels are down 40% since the 1950s, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The likely cause is global warming, which makes it hard for the plant plankton to get vital nutrients, researchers say.

The numbers are both staggering and disturbing, say the Canadian scientists who did the study and a top U.S. government scientist.

"It's concerning because phytoplankton is the basic currency for everything going on in the ocean," said Boris Worm, Dalhousie University biology professor and study co-author. "It's almost like a recession … that has been going on for decades."

Provocative findings provoke. Consequently, other researchers took a closer look at the Dalhousie findings, and their new results are far less alarming. In a recent issue of Nature, researchers find the original study defective and report:

Identifying major changes in global ecosystem properties is essential to improve our understanding of biological responses to climate forcing and exploitation. Recently, Boyce et al. reported an alarming, century-long decline in marine phytoplankton biomass of 1% per year, which would imply major changes in ocean circulation, ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycling over the period and have significant implications for management of marine fisheries. Closer examination reveals that time-dependent changes in sampling methodology combined with a consistent bias in the relationship between in situ and transparency-derived chlorophyll (Chl) measurements generate a spurious trend in the synthesis of phytoplankton estimates used by Boyce et al.. Our results indicate that much, if not all, of the century-long decline reported by Boyce et al. is attributable to this temporal sampling bias and not to a global decrease in phytoplankton biomass.

So good news: No massive decline in ocean phytoplankton after all. Over at his excellent New York Times blog, Dot Earth, Andrew Revkin takes readers through the whole saga (really folks, please go read it). Revkin points out that this is how science is supposed work—claims are made, challenged, defended, rechallenged, with the process leading us ever closer to actually describing reality.

However, how the study was reported in the mainstream press illustrates a big problem with journalism. Alarming studies get reported prominently and at length, but when they are later called into question, the mainstream press reports the refutations with a buried paragraph, if that much. Googling around, this seems to be happening in this case. Of course, the problem is that, for reasons of evolutionary psychology, only bad news is actually news to most editors and consumers.

Revkin brings up an intriguing issue:

I [Revkin] asked Rykaczewski [one of the authors of the paper that challenged the earlier results] whether the issues with the original paper reflect problems with the process of peer review and he added this note:

I prefer not to speculate on why the original paper was published by Nature, but I think it does hint at issues with the editing and peer-review process. On the other hand, Nature was willing to publish these additional comments and deserves credit for recognizing the level of skepticism within the oceanographic community concerning the original, highly publicized conclusions. Our present conversation gives me some hope that the peer-review process is not completely defective.

Not completely defective? Setting aside the thorough-going politicization of climate science (assuming that's possible), I believe that a more general problem with peer-review is that studies that tend to confirm the dominant narrative in a science have a much easier time getting through the peer-review seive than those that challenge it. And this is especially so, if the claimed results are strikingly novel, e.g., phytoplankton declining massively.

More happily, I do note that Nature published several early blogposts responding to original article that were quite skeptical of the results. In my column, News Ages Quickly, I argued that expanding the ability of researchers to make immediate formal comments on new studies is a good idea.

Also, keep in mind the point made by Martin Blume, editor-in-chief of the American Physical Society and its nine physics journals, who said,

"Peer review doesn't necessarily say that a paper is right. It says it's worth publishing." 

I hope that my fellow journalists will make this point to their readers, viewers, and listeners, whenever they report startling new results, especially results relevant to highly politicized areas of science.

In the spirit of ongoing peer-review, the Dalhousie researchers are apparently standing by their earlier results.

NEXT: Reason.tv: The War on Walmart

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. ohh i know, lets pretend the NW passage isnt ice free for the first time in…ever. fortunately the coast guard cmdr isnt so dismissive & requested additional cutters for patrolling…the ice free NW passage. just cant be warming, cant be…to melt the ice & all

    1. lets pretend the NW passage isnt ice free for the first time in…ever

      No, not “ever,” unless you believe the earth is only a few million years old.

      1. Yup. Ice free for the first time since they began keeping records… which started in 1978.

        1. like mariners didnt keep their own records for centuries, you know, to chart the shortest course…without ice

          1. Without satellites, you can’t see if the entire NW passage is free.

            I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that after several unsuccessful tries in the 18th and 19th centuries (including some where people died), mariners gave up trying to make it through the NW passage.

          2. The Soviet Union opened the NW passage in 1934 for Soviet shipping.

            Commercial non Russian shipping were allowed to use it in the 1990’s.

            In reality the Northeast passage sees numerous transits every year. The Russians have nuclear powered icebreakers whose engine-rooms were quite disconcerting to this ex-nuke.

          3. like mariners didnt keep their own records for centuries

            That’s at most five centuries (ie, since Europeans discovered the Western hemisphere). That’s an eye-blink in geological time.

            Native American peoples were pre-literate, hence kept no (reliable) records.

            Shorter: fail.

            1. so lets ignore a change fm 5 centuries.
              shorter: libertarian

              1. Hey, moron, ships have been sailing the passage since the 1930’s. Regularly. As in, there are settlements along the northern coast of Russia that are supplied primarily from the sea.

                You might want to get your news from sources that do more than cluelessly parrot breathless press-releases uncritically.

            2. Not ignoring five centuries of record-keeping, just not panicking over a slight warming trend since there is a natural cycle of glaciation and warming. A cycle that takes tens of thousands of years.

              1. We’ve got birthers and truthers. I think we need to classify Urine as an “Earther.”

    2. OO,

      So alarming studies need to be hyped and refutations should be buried?

      1. how does ice melt again?

    3. An ice-free northwest passage and thawing of tundra in northern lands is a good thing.

      1. Screw you, polar ice caps.

      2. I look at it as just a thing. With some good effects and some bad.
        If that is indeed what is happening (and it seems likely), then people need to start looking at what benefits can be derived from such a change and how to mitigate the negative effects rather than pretending that massive social engineering to get everyone on earth to change their behavior will ever work.

    4. Oh noesss, Santa Claus will drown! CARBON TAXEZZZ!!! [Commence with the running around and the screaming]

      1. He wont drown, he can use the reindeer team to evacuate. I’ll be damned if I wanna bail him out for all the property damages though.

        1. He’s either Canadian, Russian, or Dane, so we should be insulated.

          1. *whew* (you seen the current value attributed to the life of an elf? it’s pretty staggering for slave laborers.)

            1. The North Pole ain’t getting no Walmart!

    5. lets pretend the NW passage isnt ice free for the first time in…ever.

      Why pretend when we know for a fact it has opened many times in the past:

      http://climateinsiders.files.w…..np1987.jpg

      In 1959, the USS Skate surfaced at the North Pole, and reported this :

      “the Skate found open water both in the summer and following winter. We surfaced near the North Pole in the winter through thin ice less than 2 feet thick.”

      http://noconsensus.files.wordp…..-map21.jpg

      There is a ton more.

      This conversation is pretty much over…and you are proved an idiot.

    6. http://wattsupwiththat.files.w…..review.png

      Is OO a time traveler from 1922?

  2. This is how science is supposed work – claims are made, challenged, defended, rechallenged, with the process leading us ever closer to actually describing reality.

    Liar!

  3. I’m reminded of a piece I saw on PBS last night about the Mount St. Helen’s eruption. Within 3 years, Spirit Lake, which had been boiled dry had filled up with water and begun to grow algae, which is the food of small fresh water organisms. Within 10 years, the lake was once again full of fish and waterfowl and now, after 30 years, has recovered to such a degree that it looks like a normal lake.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/e…..elens.html

    1. That show kicked ass. I flipped onto it and it was very good.

      While it was a little surprising to see the ecosystem come back as it did, it struck me that it makes sense that ecosystems might recover from natural disasters better than they would from man-made ones.

      1. …it struck me that it makes sense that ecosystems might recover from natural disasters better than they would from man-made ones.

        Why? “Nature” is a polluter, too. Hydrogen sulfide is just as nasty coming from a volcano as from a coal mill. Are you referring to something else?

        1. to all the anaerobes, oxygen is a deadly poison. To the anaerobes, we humans are coprophiles, consuming plant excrement (oxygen).

          1. “coprophages”. That other word describes something else.

            1. And because you know this, no presents for you!

      2. [citation needed]

        It is not surprising at all. There was no “disaster”. Organisms will populate any environment when the opportunity is presented, for example a freshly cleansed lake. And the ecosystem did not recover, it was replaced. It would make no difference if the lake initially dried out due to the “natural” volcano or “man made” irrigation. Nature reclaims man made changes to the environment all the time.

      3. struck me that it makes sense that ecosystems might recover from natural disasters better than they would from man-made ones.

        The site of the Exxon Valdez spill and the Gulf of Mexico both disagree with you.

  4. “I believe that a more general problem with peer-review is that studies that tend to confirm the dominant narrative in a science have a much easier time getting through the peer-review seive than those that challenge it”

    Er, then what was up with the refuting article making it through Nature’s peer review?

    1. MNG “much easier”

      1. Damn, you Ron, it isn’t fair when you don’t include a little sarcasm!

    2. a much easier time

      Now I know that you are highly educated but let me help you out here a bit.

      “much easier” does not mean “always” nor does it mean “easy”. That is the reason you use the qualifier “much”. This also means that “much harder” does NOT mean either “impossible” nor “hard”. All those years in school and they never covered the meaning of the word “much”?

  5. “Revkin points out that this is how science is supposed work – claims are made, challenged, defended, rechallenged, with the process leading us ever closer to actually describing reality.”

    Don’t believe these assholes. Reality is what ever you feel it is. The skeptics are funded by big oil.

    1. It is interesting how the AGW deniers are always telling us that disconfirming research never gets funded or published because the incentives and power structure only reward those that agree with the AGW narrative because government conspiracy flouride socialism etc., yada, yada.

      Yet here we go, refuting research in the biggest journal of all.

      Go figure.

      1. MNG, if you had been following McIntyre’s, McKitrick et al.s battle to get papers showing the shoddy statistical work coming out of the CRU you wouldn’t be making that comment.

        The email comment in the Climategate file dump where I think jones claimed that he would do whatever it took to keep a paper refuting their shoddy statistics out of journals is pretty much par for the course.

      2. “It’s OK to publish falsehoods as long as the retractions come eventually and are ignored by AGW’s supporters in the popular press.”

        1. Shorter and with More Stupid MNG:

          “It’s OK to publish falsehoods as long as the retractions come eventually and are ignored by AGW’s supporters in the popular press because of the tractor pulls being too noisy and drowning out the press conference.”

          1. Dumb rednecks, too stupid to work-out closed captioning. Oh, I guess they’d have to be able to read too.

            BURRRRRRRN!

      3. I wonder what this does to people’s perceptions? It’s been going on for decades.

        However, how the study was reported in the mainstream press illustrates a big problem with journalism. Alarming studies get reported prominently and at length, but when they are later called into question, the mainstream press reports the refutations with a buried paragraph, if that much.

  6. Revkin points out that this is how science is supposed work – claims are made, challenged, defended, rechallenged, with the process leading us ever closer to actually describing reality.

    Too bad it doesn’t work that way with so-called Global Warming.

    1. Like the market, science is only guaranteed rational in the long term.

      1. But can science stay irrational longer than you can keep a grant funded?

  7. Of course, the problem is that, for reasons of evolutionary psychology, only bad news is actually news to most editors and consumers.

    This refutation counts as bad news to AGW believers. Their world is dying!

  8. “I believe that a more general problem with peer-review is that studies that tend to confirm the dominant narrative in a science have a much easier time getting through the peer-review seive than those that challenge it”

    Yeah, that’s the ticket — that’s why Intelligent Design has done so well in peer review and has become such a factor in published research.
    Permit me a lady-like guffaw in the face of this absurdist hyperbole about ‘dominant paradigms’.

    no hugs for thugs (or cdesign proponentsists)
    Shirley Knott

    1. intel design denier! once paul is elected, u will be re-programmed

    2. Wow, you really believe that I.D. is a dominantly accepted narrative among journal publishers and their funding sources?

      Wow…. just wow.

    3. Intelligent design was the very definition of a fad. It has largely faded. The only people I ever even hear the words “intelligent design” come from, are people that talk like George W Bush is still president.

      1. Come again?

      2. Come again?

      3. Come again?

      4. IOW, Democrats.

        1. Cookie for Brett L. But I lol’d at the responses.

      5. GWB is no longer president? How can you tell?

    4. How could there be “peer review” of something as blatantly unscientific as “God magic did it”?

      1. The International Journal For God Magic will give you a fair shake.

      2. Its falsifiable. Just disprove God has magic.

  9. Aaaaaah, the sky is falling! We’re all going to die!.
    No it’s not, and I can prove it.
    Aaaaaah, yes it is! You have no proof!
    No, really. Look at this.
    Aaaaaah, that doesn’t mean a thing! You’re no scientist!.
    Really, hundreds of scientists have looked at this. The original research was flawed.
    Aaaaaah, the sky isn’t falling! We’ll be overpopulated!
    Bang. Head. On. Desk.

    1. Nomic,

      You have put it into words better than I could.

      We AGW sceptics have noticed quite a few studies with alarming claims over the past decade being touted in the mainstream press but the refutations barely get a mention.

      This behaviour makes this sceptic more sceptical.

      1. What’s funny is that as the millenial cult enters its fourth decade, and the WWW enters its third decade. All kinds of breathless claims the shills published on their websites about the far off date of 2010 are being quietly disappeared. 50 million refugees evaporated. The people of Africa went from being the most affected to the least affected etc.

        This must be what my great^3 grandparents experienced watching the seventh day adventists coping with the failure of Jesus to return.

        1. Yes, but we have the wayback machine, and screen shots. They can stop pimping these claims, but they can’t make the history of having made those claims disappear.

        2. A little known 20 40 year old climate change prediction by Dr. James Hansen ? that failed will likely fail badly.

          I’ve looked to see if somone out there has assembled a list of all the AGW predictions that have failed to materialize, but haven’t come across it yet. It would be a substantial site.

          1. I note that the prediction was made in the context of an assumption: that CO2 levels would have doubled. Not sure how much relevance that hypothetical has to reality.

  10. Sensational, provocative ‘findings’ 1) advance the agenda of those making the claims, possibly leading to funding/grants etc. for further study of said findings, and 2) sell newspapers, magazines, and assorted other periodicals, and also drive television ratings.

    With respect to the latter, subsequent findings, unless more provocative than the initial findings, do not generate incremental circulation/ratings/viewers, and are thusly treated.

  11. I remember seeing the headline on this when it came out and calling ‘bullshit’ and never thinking twice about it after.

    40% decline in phytoplankton was somewhat an outlandish number to begin with. Given those things eat CO2, and are the biggest oxidizers in the ecomachine, 40% decline with only .001% increase in CO2 levels and no decrease in O2 over a century doesn’t even make any sense.

    How’d this thing survive the sniff-test before it even got submitted, much less published? Fucking pathetic.

    1. biggest oxidizers

      Oxidation: You’re doing it wrong.

      1. He means biggest dumpers of free oxygen into the biosphere. So, oxidators?

        1. Please don’t interrupt my playful ribbing of Zeit with helpful vocab suggestions.

          1. Sorry. Sometimes I get pedantic.

            1. I thought I kicked-off this episode of Pedantry Today.

              1. Wow. I can’t stop stepping on your toes even when I’m apologizing. Here, take my second best monocle.

      2. OIL RIG

  12. No dog in the GW hunt, save to say that we probably don’t know as much as we’d like to think we do.

    Peer review, and editorial oversight, is probably at its worst at journals like nature, which suffer from several problems that the trade journals don’t. First is that the editor’s tend to be failed scientists, that is they left the lab to go into scientific publishing, so their judgement of the work is poorer than trade journal editors, who typically have years of experience as successful, working scientists to inform their decisions. Second is that Nature consciously reformulated itself along journalistic lines years ago and the other big journals have largely followed suit. The problem with this is a focus on the journalistic as opposed to scientific value of papers, as in this case, of course you want to be the first to break the plankto-pocalypse story! Who cares if it is right. The third issue is the career value of these journals to the scientists who publish in them, having a Nature paper is like being a made man in the mafia, it makes your career. So the incentives are great to fudge to get into these journals, this is especially true now that science funding, relative to the number of career scientists, is as tight as it has ever been. All this adds up to a journal that seems to have something like 3 retracted or corrected papers per issue.
    Nature may be Nature, but because it is, it is probably a much less reliable reporter of science than more humble journals.

    1. There is a big push now to change the peer review process. A lot of scientists are growing weary of the editorial gatekeepers.

      Also there are murmurings of a more open refereeing process. Because of secrecy and super-specialization it’s hard to tell if your paper was correctly judged by an expert. Some fields nowadays may only have one or two qualified people in the entire world to fairly judge a paper.

      I think that with the amount of specialization in science today coupled with openess of the web, we’ll see a more fair and transparent process.

      If you google ‘nature peer review’ you can find many blogs and articles debating the merits of future peer review processes.

  13. THe scientist here were all doing their jobs. Although I do believe that the findings of the original study published in Nature were hyped in the media, the scientists can’t be guilty of any hyping, because every scientist will at least attempt to hype their research.

    It did seem odd to me they came to their conclusions based on a study that involved dropping a plate painted black and white into the water. “This water doesn’t look cloudy enough, therefore we’re losing 1% of the phytoplankton per year!”

    I remember when I first read about this study in Nature. It actually made me a little depressed, and it seemed to be evidence of a positive feedback effect related to global warming (as the phytoplankton die off due to warming, the ocean becomes less capable of absorbing CO2, which leads to even more warming). Then I heard another article was published a few months later that said that the evidence showed that the oceans were not losing any of their ability to act as carbon sinks. How could this be, when the oceans are losing 1% of their phytoplankton population every year? This article coming out today seems to confirm my suspicion that the phytoplankton populations were probably okay.

    1. It did seem odd to me they came to their conclusions based on a study that involved dropping a plate painted black and white into the water. “This water doesn’t look cloudy enough, therefore we’re losing 1% of the phytoplankton per year!”

      Devil, details, etc.

  14. They killed themselves off trying to get the secret Crabby Patty formula.

  15. So we (mostly) stopped whaling and now the plankton are disappearing? No one sees the connection? Those baleen bearing cetaceans are behind it! They’re devouring everything in their path!

    STOP BIG WHALE!!!

    1. Whale populations are booming, and the bastards pay no mind to national borders much less pay any sort of taxes.

  16. There’s trouble with the plankton in the ocean?

    SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!!

    1. i likes my soylent al dente

    2. What’s That?!?!?

      It is the big body of water where all the fish are but that isnt important right now!

      1. Joke fail. Proper setup:

        Person 1: Oh my god. The ocean!
        Person 2: What is it?

        1. It was implied…if you have to explain it then it isnt funny.

  17. I have never liked the old axiom from Sagan “extrordinary claims require extrodinary evidence” (while in this case it may have prevented the publishing of this excrement) since in science “it only takes one brown cow”. When a dozen geologists look at a rock and say “water erosion” and then see where the rock is, it should not affect their prior convictions that it was water erosion. However, those biases are exactly what do happen.

    Also, Baleen Whales…fuck them!

  18. ‘since in science “it only takes one brown cow”‘

    If you think this refutes Sagan’s rule, I don’t think you understand it.

    1. First off, Sagan’s rule as you put it is nothing of the sort. There is no scientific precept that exists that says an arbitrary definition of extrodinary will dterminine validity of an argument. The simple fact that a statement of “All cows are white” even if you have collected peer reviewed instances over 2000 years and all are white does NOT mean the 1 brown cow doenst fuck your entire theory…that is how science works. You don’t get to move goal posts in objective science. First brown cow = drawing board here we come.

      1. Yes the one brown cow would refute the claim, but if in the entire history of the world there where only white cows, and then you should up with a single brown cow, I think 1)that would be extrordinary evidence, and 2) would need to prove you hadn’t used a little clairol to get your brown cow.

        1. 1. again a subjective definition…It is just regular old evidence. A counterexample.

          2. This is a valid point. Hence the peer reviewing stuff. First thing to happen is for others to repeat the observance of the brown cow. And liekly with stringent portocols in place.

          *searches trash for Clarol boxes*

      2. If a brown cow appears, then it is no longer an extraordinary claim that there might be brown cows in the universe. I think that what Sagan was talking about was more like things that actually contradict well established theories. Something like string theory would be a good example. It proposes a fundamental shift in how we understand the universe. Some really novel observations would be necessary to call that theory scientifically valid (or even to really make it part of science).

  19. “However, how the study was reported in the mainstream press illustrates a big problem with journalism.”

    Yes, like all science reporting, it’s a sobering reminder that J-school graduates have the dangerously mistaken belief that they are intellectually qualified to report on scientific findings.

    1. Yes, like all science reporting, it’s a sobering reminder that J-school graduates have the dangerously mistaken belief that they are intellectually qualified to report on scientific findings.

      True. I have a journalist friends who will even claim “expertise” in certain areas of science because they have been reporting on some area of research for a number of years.

      1. You’re kidding, right?

        1. Nope. I give ’em shit whenever they claim it, of course.

  20. Astrophysics is also a very politicised and sensationalised discipline.

    So it isn’t only the AGW stuff.

  21. I believe that a more general problem with peer-review is that studies that tend to confirm the dominant narrative in a science have a much easier time getting through the peer-review seive than those that challenge it.

    I am not sure this is a valid critique. That narrative has, presumably, been built up through the scientific process and involves a complex web of knowledge. The study that attempts to pick apart that web has a harder job, scientifically, than one that is simply adding more evidence, or refining the shape of a small region of the narrative.

    1. I am not sure this is a valid critique.

      Yes it is. You confused dominate narrative with establish understanding.

      The-plankton-is-all-dead fit the dominate narrative yet it broke established understanding. It easily got through the peer review process.

      The counter to the-plankton-is-all-dead broke with the dominate narrative yet stuck with established understanding and had a harder time getting through the peer review process.

      1. Yes it is. You confused dominate narrative with establish understanding.

        No I didn’t.

        The-plankton-is-all-dead fit the dominate narrative yet it broke established understanding. It easily got through the peer review process.

        There are a lot of assumptions in that sentence that I am not sure we know. 1) how easily it got through; 2) how much it “broke with” rather than “refined” or “was predicted by” the established understanding. As I am not familiar in detail with the relevant oceanic plankton research, I am skeptical of your claim without some more detailed support from your end.

        The counter to the-plankton-is-all-dead broke with the dominate narrative yet stuck with established understanding and had a harder time getting through the peer review process.

        I don’t see any evidence that this study had a hard time getting through peer-review. And given the nature of the process, I don’t think we are likely soon to have the evidence to make a meaningful comparison between the difficulty the two studies had.

  22. NM: (1) dominant paradigm = AGW exists (2) plankton are dying possibly because AGW (3) more evidence for truth of dominant paradigm

    What would count as evidence for “ease” for you? With regard to “ease” – I really suggest you read the Revkin link which lays out well the considerable early doubts among the oceanographic research community about the original article. Not dispositive but reasonably suggestive.

    1. Not dispositive but reasonably suggestive.

      I am not sure how the the blog post is even suggestive. It details early doubts about the paper. It says nothing of the peer-review process. As you note in your post, the peer-review process is about finding papers that are worth publishing. Nothing unusual about it being published and quickly refuted. When you talk of “ease” of getting through the peer review process, you are indicating, I believe, that they are not scrutinized as carefully as papers that have a “harder time” getting through the process. But, as I said above, even if true, this doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem with the process. A paper that is in accordance with the narrative built up overtime through the scientific process is likely to have an “easier” job, scientifically, than one that challenges that narrative.

      What would count as evidence for “ease” for you?

      An accounting of how many revisions the paper went through prior to publication, perhaps. In this case, there is no evidence that the 4 papers responding to and refuting the original paper had a harder time getting through peer-review than the original. For instance, the time between receiving and accepting the original paper was 6 months. For “A measured look at ocean chlorophyll trends” to get through the same process took only 5 months. So, if the second paper is an example of “challenging” the dominant narrative (I am not sure it is), then it had an easier time than the original which, supposedly was in accordance with the dominant narrative.

      1. A further point. The peer-review process doesn’t stop at publication…as this paper and the follow on studies clearly shows. If anything, the original paper seems to have had a hard time getting past peer review, as it was quickly refuted by publications from the authors peers.

  23. Who’s doing the copy editing today?

    “…studies that tend to confirm the dominant narrative in a science have a much easier time getting through the peer-review seive than those that challenge it.”

    For “seive” I found this nugget of wonder:

    SEIVE: (SOCIO-ECONOMIC INTERFACE FOR VIOLENCE ELIMINATION )
    May 2, 2010 … A site for families, couples and individuals, clergy and religious in need of counseling: Deals with alcoholism, drug and sex abuse, divorce, …

    All right! Let’s peer-review that seive!

  24. Everything has two sides, it doesn’t matter.
    http://www.lvhandbagbuy.com.

  25. Pujols Topps rookie card may be $50 Breast fed children have a higher IQ than bottle fed ones (Lancet 1992;339:261-62) and also cognitive and social development improved slightly

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.