Originally Posted by litebeam
Couldn't help but to react to this posting.
Our President just today signed an executive order mandating the freedom of speech on U.S. college campuses or they risk losing public funding. Why, you might ask? Because our colleges have become the domain of leftists, Socialists and Marxists. The free exchange of ideas has been replaced with bias, groupthink, and in some cases, public beat-downs of those expressing conservative or libertarian thought or free speech. The game has been rigged for far too long.
It was high time something was done about it. Your posting above is exactly what's wrong with the system. You trivialize just as they have.
The worm has turned.
Right let me react to this one first, because you haven't understood the content of my post.
First, no-platforming on university campuses I personally oppose. Anyone should have the opportunity and freedom to express their point of view. However
, I would remind those that advocate unrestricted free speech of Article 19 in that same covenant:
3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals
Specific exclusions along these lines are also identified for the US First Amendment.
Those in power, and particularly the new brand of 'populist' politicians and commentators should be way more mindful of the precarious nature of such a precious right for all sides of the debate
- all too often now it is used as a carte blanche to insult, polarize and inflame.
As for the specific presidential act, I support the principle but am cautious about the motivation and potentially opposed to the execution. The latter opens the door to direct government control over universities and research by enabling government agencies to direct or withhold federal funding streams based on their assessment of what is a very grey area. Surely, as someone who believes in free speech and opposes a 'big state' you would be opposed to this?
This aside, my original point was way more technical and cuts to the heart of an oft-heard accusation uttered by AGW deniers: namely, that they have plenty of good evidence to show that the consensus view is incorrect, but it is impossible to get this published in the scientific literature because of a corrupt, anonymous peer review system
. The anonymity bit is crucial here, as it would technically allow any established scientist to rubbish opposing views with impunity. An elitist cordon sanitaire (for whatever reason). It's a great way for AGW deniers with a scientific background to pull the wool over their audience's eyes: "Look guys, I have the proof but those meanies are blocking me from publishing it. And it's all anonymous and confidential, so you'll never see what the reviewers said about my data; you'll just have to take my word for it that I'm right and they are willfully excluding me. It's an injustice!" [gratuitous Calimero reference intended]. And who without an academic background would know, right?
Except, it's all a load of bollocks.
Firstly, no paper gets reviewed by just one person. It's either two or three (and in some cases more) colleagues, who do this independently and simultaneously.
Second, the author of the paper is normally asked on the submission form to suggest reviewers for their work. So you could technically try and stack the cards in your favour, although this doesn't really work in practice.
Third, it is possible to notify a journal editor of potential reviewers who might have a personal and/or professional bias against you or your work. And should you suspect such after receiving back the reviews it is possible to raise a complaint of bias - in which case a further independent review is often sought.
Finally, and this is what I was alluding to in my post, there are plenty of good open-review journals in which the whole process is documented online and accessible to anyone
. I've published in some of those and am generally supportive of this more transparent approach to peer review. These journals are accessible to all academic AGW deniers, and would present the perfect platform to submit their data/research if anyone was worried about reviewer bias. After all, anyone can comment on the work and see the discussion for themselves. So my question to you (and Ed, because you have made this argument in the past): why are none of them using open-review journals? It's highly unlikely they are unaware of them. No, my accusation is that smoke and mirrors are preferable to having your shit 'science' ripped apart in public. But hey, that's why nobody who knows anything takes them serious anymore