Peer Review a Career Stopper?

Peer Review a Career Stopper? December 7, 2007

There are lots of discussions of tenure and peer review, particularly as relates to evolution, intelligent design and such topics. Here’s what I wrote in a comment responding to someone who suggested that peer review, rather than intelligent design, is the career-killer:

Peer review prevents the academy from being hijacked by people-pleasers who say what a certain constituent wants to hear, untroubled by facts and other such nuisances. Please do propose an alternative. Perhaps you prefer the media’s approach, which is to always allow someone to represent ‘the other side’, even if the other side is one person with a mental illness. Peer review may at times lead to it being difficult for someone to challenge the status quo. But in academia, the consensus is reached by careful investigation, and so overturning a generally accepted theory SHOULD be difficult. That it happens constantly anyway just shows that the system works, forcing creativity to go hand in hand with careful research and documentation.

Panda’s Thumb has charts of the effects of Intelligent Design on the careers of various scientists.

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