The Myth of Neutral Academic Peer Review Exploded

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

A generation ago, Daniel Ellsberg stole thousands of documents from the Rand Corporation, photocopied them, and gave them to the New York Times, which began publishing them. Ellsberg was prosecuted by the government. So was the Times. The defendants won.

Only after the Times broke the story did the mainstream press pick up on it. The Times got its scoop, and the Nixon administration had no way to stop it. This led to Nixon’s decision to stop the leaks with the Plumbers squad. That led to his defeat.

The Pentagon Papers did not directly undermine Nixon. He was re-elected in 1972 by a landslide. But the papers reinforced seeds of doubt about the war in Vietnam. Four years later, President Ford pulled the plug on the war.

What made this possible? Ellsberg’s theft, the photocopy machine, and the decision by the Times to publish the papers.

Fast-forward a generation. Because of the World Wide Web, the stolen “Climategate” emails were on-line within hours. The mainstream media did their best not to promote the story, but it could not be stopped.

The perpetrators’ careers are finished. Jones has left the institute that had flourished as a promoter of global warming. Mann is under investigation by his employer, Penn State University.

The details of the science are beyond you and me. So are the details of just about everything. The world is complex and growing more complex. What we do understand is deliberate chicanery by experts with a political agenda.

The stolen emails have killed the careers of two experts: Mann and Jones. These men are now up there with Janet Cooke, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for her faked story for the Washington Post. She never recovered. Neither will Mann and Jones. They are now pariahs. They did the unforgivable in any ideological movement. They got caught. The global warming movement has already cast them into outer darkness.

These academic con men got their hands caught in the cookie jar. This has undermined the #1 myth of the global-warming crowd: the myth of peer review.

Poor Ed Begley, Jr., the greenest actor in Hollywood, could only repeat the mantra of “peer review, peer review” when he unwisely appeared on television to defend global warming. He told listeners that his scientific views as an actor are irrelevant — a correct observation — but peer review is authoritative. (If his ideas are irrelevant, then why did he consent to be interviewed?) At the end, he was frantic.

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare