Scientists, particularly climate scientists on the global warming, uh, scratch that, climate change, bandwagon, like to smugly point out that their brilliant conclusions are peer-reviewed. Which is supposed to make their critics drop to their knees in awe, shut up and crawl away.
Luckily, there’s Retraction Watch, a blog by two US science writers that’s pulling back the curtain on “peer-review,” by demonstrating again and again that even the most prestigious scientific journals screw up repeatedly, missing honest mistakes and even plain old fraud.
When some of these journals do discover fraud (often from their scientist readers rather than their scientist reviewers), in the form of, say, plagiarism, they do verbal acrobatics to avoid calling it what it is.
When some scientists with multiple retractions recently tried to censor the blog, its software provider WordPress, filed two lawsuits for them seeking damages. Way to go, WordPress!