Science journals, excessive trust placed in authority figures

What gets me… rewording is easy to do.  The problem is the publish-or-perish culture in Science.  Needs to change.  Encourages a lot of bad stuff out there… and… ends up getting used in popular media as proof for the latest blogger’s claim.

In short… if you want ppl to believe something is true, just go into arXiv and find somebody supporting your ideas (you’ll find it) and then cite them.

Boom.  Insta-credibility.

sigh I guess it’ll keep going as long as people believe “Scientists warn that…”  and “Statistics show….” without stopping to think for themselves.

It’s my biggest beef with the “yay science” movement going on over the past few years.  I’m all for science and love it… and I’m ok with people trusting “science over [religion/politics/folk wisdom/playground rumors]” up to a point…. but no matter what the source is… one has to question for themselves.

Otherwise… junk science gets out there and is as hard to eradicate as any bad idea, once cemented.


11:11 PM

[PS I’m a fan of open journals and think arXiv provides a wonderful service.  My critique isn’t so much for the bad stuff in there; there’s bad stuff in established journals all of the time; my critique is that people should always keep their Skeptical Cap on, no matter what the source… and try to figure out what works for them and follow nothing blindly.  Never stop questioning. :D

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