Peer Review Is Bunk

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

A report I wrote for the Global Warming Policy Foundation was released today. It explains that peer-reviewed research is as likely to be wrong as right. Basing public policy on findings that haven’t yet been reproduced is nuts.

Cartoons by Josha marvelous cartoon by Josh graces the cover of my reportIt’s time to slam on the brakes, folks. In recent decades, governments have justified all manner of guidelines, taxes, laws, and public awareness campaigns by claiming that a certain course of action is indicated by ‘science.’ We’re repeatedly told that ‘peer-reviewed’ science has determined X, and that society should therefore do Y.

But here’s the dirty little secret: the peer review process tells us almost nothing. It’s merely a sniff test. A couple of people briefly examine a research paper. Using entirely subjective criteria they decide that it kind of makes sense, that it must be right because it confirms their…

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