Peer Review & the Corruption of Scholarship (Areo)

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Helen Pluckrose, James A. Lindsay & Peter Boghossian, "Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship", Areo (02 October 2018)

Fascinating and instructive. Three academics (not opposed to the subjects they investigated) have published the results of their year-long experiment: to see if absurd papers would pass the peer-review process in the area of "grievance studies" (things like gender studies, queer studies, etc.) and end up published in highly-respected academic journals. Their finding? Yes.

   

As they put it at the start of their article:

"Something has gone wrong in the university—especially in certain fields within the humanities. Scholarship based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances has become firmly established, if not fully dominant, within these fields, and their scholars increasingly bully students, administrators, and other departments into adhering to their worldview. This worldview is not scientific, and it is not rigorous. For many, this problem has been growing increasingly obvious, but strong evidence has been lacking. For this reason, the three of us just spent a year working inside the scholarship we see as an intrinsic part of this problem."

 

 

Of course the papers have been retracted now—although we can still read them, such as "Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon"—but the fact is they got published. (This reminds me of the conversation we had with Dr. Tim Ball a while back on the subject of Peer Review.) If this kind of thing is happening in "grievance studies", might it not be happening in other academic disciplines, especially those of a politically-sensitive nature?

           

    

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