F1000Research gives open science a bad name

Written by Jordan Anaya

This is a difficult post for me to write since I believe in post-publication peer review and F1000Research is seen as a pioneer in using this model.

However, when I envisioned post-publication peer review I never imagined getting rid of editors, allowing the authors to invite their friends to review their articles, relinquishing the responsibilities of accepting or retracting articles, and then passing the articles off as if they underwent a thorough peer-review process.

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Discussion of the ‘Hottest Year on Record’ in Australia

Written by Albert Parker, Clifford D Ollier

New peer-reviewed study of raw temperature data for Australia proves no warming trend exists in the actual records – only in the adjustments. Evidence proves that published records by Australian Bureau of Meteorology are intentionally and artificially exaggerated with a subjective (probably political) bias.

Albert Parker of the School of Engineering and Physical Science, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia and Cliff Ollier of the School of Earth and Environment, The University of Western Australia show that Australian records since the end of the 1800s give no sign of warming or increased occurrence of extreme weather events.

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Has peer review hit rock bottom?

Written by Jordan Anaya

Just as we wonder how many shootings it will take for us to change our gun laws, we should be wondering what it will take for us to realize our peer review system is broken.

Peer review supposedly ensures a publication is of sufficient quality to be included in the scientific literature, but time and time again at Retraction Watch and PubPeer we see blatant examples of fraud that have slipped by the academic editors and reviewers.

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What is Einstein’s spooky action at a distance?

Written by The Economist

ONE of the phrases of Albert Einstein, a quotable physicist, that has leaked into the popular consciousness is “spooky action at a distance”. The derisive quotelet arose during the early days of quantum mechanics, a theory that powered a revolution in science that is still playing out.

None of today’s gadgets, for example, could have been made without a deep understanding and exploitation of the theory’s basic tenets. Yet those ground rules come with other predictions so counterintuitive that Einstein came to think that the theory was missing something: what seemed odd was, he argued, just a reflection of a lack of knowledge.

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Spoiled Science: Cornell’s Famous Food Lab Exposed

Written by Tom Bartlett

Chronicle Review illustration, iStock

Brian Wansink is nowhere to be found. He’s not in his office. Calls to his cellphone go to voicemail. He was supposed to meet me that morning at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, which he created and directs, but he canceled the night before. Cornell’s media-relations staff is apologetic and accommodating: What about a meeting with the dean instead? Or a tour of campus? The architecture is amazing — and those gorges!

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Hans Rosling: The Science of Population Decline & Immigation

Written by Ruth Alexander and Ben Carter

Hans RoslingImage copyright: AP

Hans Rosling, the Swedish professor who made global health statistics compelling viewing, died from cancer in February.

Co-founder of Gapminder.org, which continues his work, he was enthusiastically trying to change old-fashioned notions of the world even as his illness took hold. In his final BBC interview – for the BBC World Service series Economic Tectonics– the statistician highlighted five key ways that demographics are shaping the world around us.

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Trump Climate Science Adviser Exposes New York Times Fake News

Written by Tony Heller

The alleged ‘attack on science’ by U.S. President Donald Trump is exposed as fake news by one of his trusted science advisers. Tony Heller, a respected climate analyst faced the ire of The New York Times as part of a hit piece against EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and Trump’s ongoing reforms.

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Fake News British Climate Professors Protest Against Trump

Written by Ferret Journalists

trump

Leading ‘scientists’ have presented a cheeky challenge to Donald Trump’s denial of climate change in Aberdeenshire. Four ‘professors’ turned up yesterday at the US President’s controversial golf resort at Menie on the northeast coast to hand over a Ladybird guide to climate change and a Royal Meteorological Society statement on climate science.

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The Prime Evil of Science Accountability

Written by Jordan Anaya

It is said the devil’s greatest trick was convincing us he doesn’t exist. And for a while he succeeded. He told us that he would help distribute our research to the world. He told us he would put a stamp of approval on the work so that we knew we could trust it.

And the devil did us a favor, for we didn’t have the ability to distribute the work ourselves. Tragically, by the time we were given the gift of fire from the heavens, we had grown too dependent on the devil. We needed his stamp of approval to get jobs, to get grants.

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After Years Of Delays, Gov’t Finally To Review 1st Advanced Nuclear Reactor

Written by Andrew Follett

After years of delays, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) finally agreed to review the first-ever application for a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR).

NRC has begun a formal review of a proposed SMR advanced nuclear reactor two months after NuScale Power, the company behind the project filed a 12,000-page application for it. The first NuScale’s SMR is expected to begin operations in 2026.

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The real reason prestigious journals (still) exist

Written by Jordan Anaya

Now that we’re in the 21st century, a talented scientist should be able to post their important research online so that people who will benefit from the work will have immediate access to it, and the scientist can move on to their next project without spending 1+ years battling with editors/reviewers.

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Scientists make the case to restore Pluto’s planet status

Written by Arthur Hirsch

Johns Hopkins University scientist Kirby Runyon wants to make one thing clear: Regardless of what one prestigious scientific organization says to the contrary, Pluto is a planet. So is Europa, commonly known as a moon of Jupiter, and the Earth’s moon, and more than 100 other celestial bodies in our solar system that are denied this status under a prevailing definition of “planet.”

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Scientists play ‘geological genealogy’

Written by Jonathan Amos

Canadian shieldImage copyright: RICK CARLSON
Image caption: The rocks on the eastern shores of the Hudson Bay are among the oldest on Earth

Scientists have tracked the “family history” of a rock back to some of the earliest times on Earth.

Researchers analysed the concentration and distribution of particular types of atoms in the granite to show it must have been recycled from something that existed 4.2 billion years ago.

This “parent rock” was very probably basalt of the sort produced on the ocean floor, they say.

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