Wednesday, February 13, 2013

THe Nature of Science, or the Science of Nature

So, a study shows that research on mice is nearly useless, in some areas, for understanding effects on humans.  Or, worse than useless, actually misleading.  Science and Nature are two places to publish big, important, but perhaps speculative papers.

Excerpt:

The study’s investigators tried for more than a year to publish their paper, which showed that there was no relationship between the genetic responses of mice and those of humans. They submitted it to the publications Science and Nature, hoping to reach a wide audience. It was rejected from both.


Science and Nature said it was their policy not to comment on the fate of a rejected paper, or whether it had even been submitted to them. But, Ginger Pinholster of Science said, the journal accepts only about 7 percent of the nearly 13,000 papers submitted each year, so it is not uncommon for a paper to make the rounds.

Still, Dr. Davis said, reviewers did not point out scientific errors. Instead, he said, “the most common response was, ‘It has to be wrong. I don’t know why it is wrong, but it has to be wrong.’ ”   Um....it has to be wrong because otherwise we have wasted billions of dollars as a result of forcing people to do studies on mice, when those studies are actively misleading about effects on humans?  Because we know THAT's not right.  Right?

4 comments:

blink said...

From the NYT article, all we have is an author interpreting his own referee reports. (Actually, 1 of over 30 authors -- this six page article required many hands.) If your claim is that reviewers dismissed your work out of hand, shouldn't you at least offer the reports (or something) as evidence?

whinter said...

The study is exciting and important, but it is embarrassing that the researcher spends most of his article complaining about the reviewers who blocked it for Nature and Science, and bragging about how he used his membership in the Academy to get it into PNAS. Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Yes, surelynhebismlying, just as he must have been wring about those mice studies.

Glad this kind if stuff never happens,in political science!

Anonymous said...

Stupid iPad. Surely he must be lying...