Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by SetiAlpha6, Mar 12, 2020.
To what extent does the Pier Review process result in Pier Pressure to conform to Majority Opinion?
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Well, I can build a pier across a bay mouth and hold the tidal surge at bay, resulting in pier pressure. Not sure if any of that pressure is related to review of the pier.
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Extra double-plus Like.
I think the OP is referring to how many fishermen can be on a pier before the pressure causes the pier to collapse.
To be serious, OP meant peer, not pier. To answer question, peer review is carried out in isolation, so the reviewer usually wouldn't know about other reviews.
I made a Mega Typo twice!! Or maybe three times!!! Ok, actually four times!!!!
Yes I mean...
Does Peer Review = Peer Pressure?
Stupid people like me, who can’t spell, want to know.
Yes. It's just not clear what he meant by everything else in his one sentence question.
Maybe that's what he means.
I interpreted it differently.
But I'll wait to see if he elaborates.
But even if Peer Reviews are carried out in isolation, it would still seem that Peer Pressure would not be made impossible at all.
All reviewers already know the prevailing direction the wind of opinion is blowing at the time, whether or not they are all starring at each other in the same room at the same time.
And it would still be majority rules, even when the majority is wrong.
Know what, exactly?
Pressure though, to do what?
That's true. There is tremendous pressure to do good science - and if you don't, reviewers generally have no mercy.
Right. And they also know that they don't want to be the one to reject a groundbreaking paper and later look like a fool.
Depends on the journal. Most get input from several trusted reviewers, but then the editor makes the final call. (Nature does that.) The editor also bases his decisions on the quality of the review. If, for example, two agreed to publish but the third reviewer spotted a serious math error that changed the results, it would likely be rejected. But if two decided to reject on the grounds that "that's too strange a conclusion" but could find no technical flaws, then it would likely be published.
It's a riddle wrapped up in an enigma, hidden in the harbor of life.
Ok, so reviewers, don’t want to be wrong and end up with egg on their face later. Which makes sense to me.
Does that make them generally less open or more open to new ideas that would go against majority opinion?
I would think, that perhaps, that would cause them to be less open to new ideas. And possibly create inside them something approaching even a Peer Pressure herd mentality.
And beyond that, it also would seem like Students going through the education system in Universities would also feel the same Pressure to Conform to Majority Opinion, especially since they could fail their courses it they don’t.
Seems to me like the scale is waited towards conformity to the majority and much less towards new ideas that could challenge existing thought.
Is this possible?
It's not only possible, there are plenty of historical examples which support this observation.
Something or other about an untapped energy source at the bottom of the ocean. I think.
Of course it's possible.
It's possible that everyone is one witness away or stealing candy from a baby or cheating at their job. I work close to confidential patient records. It's possible that I have zero integrity or professionalism and it's possible I will use that information for my own personal gain.
Our society operates on the (pretty good) assumption that most people are professionally objective and take their responsibilities seriously. Otherwise it would be a police state.
Perhaps, you may have the wrong idea about how science works. It's less about challenging "existing thought" and more about looking for new discoveries. If those new discoveries happen to challenge existing thought, then it has to have extraordinary evidence to do so. It's not like scientists are going out to bring down evolution or bring down physical laws, they're looking for new ideas that may refine those theories or expand on them. What you're referring to are the kooks and cranks who come up with nonsense because they believe they can bring down existing physical laws and replace them with their own, but these guys are often not scientists themselves or if they were, they usually have a couple of screws loose.
For this not to be the case, the reviewers would have to be utterly and completely ignorant of the matters which they are assessing--how do you think that would work out?
Possible yes. But in the good journals, the reviewers are looking at how good the science is, i.e. whether the research methodology is sound and whether the conclusions are properly supported by it, rather than whether those conclusions conform or not to some pre-existing theory. As others have pointed out, science is always on the look-out for new things and for solutions to outstanding problems in the theory. It tends to be the 3rd-raters who judge by whether something is sufficiently conformist or not. I'm not saying such unimaginative and insecure people don't exist: they do. But they do not have a stranglehold over the peer review process.
Beware, though: on the internet, you will quite frequently come across "Galileo Gambit * " cranks. These are people who claim to have had papers rejected due to them not conforming to theory, when in fact the science behind them is either crap or, more commonly, entirely absent.
*from "They laughed at Galileo": the idea that challenging new ideas are always rejected by the scientific establishment. (This notion is wrong at a number of levels, but we don't need to go into all that here.)
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