October 12, 2012

From Skulls and Scans (Monge & Aguirre @ Penn)

An interesting talk on the uses and abuses of science.


I find this excerpt particularly offensive to my open science sensibilities (29:40 ff):
We were able to, after 10 years, actually get it published in PLoS Biology, took us 10 years, yeah, we were rejected every single place that we ever sent the manuscript. I find that interesting too, and we even had editors say to us that they didn't want to say anything against Stephen J Gould. Isn't that interesting?
Interesting indeed. As I wrote in my review of the Lewis et al. (2011) paper on the Gould vs. Morton affair:
It is remarkable that 30 years after the Mismeasurement of Man Gould's errors are uncovered. Why did it take so long? While one could understand why the (totally unfounded but -on the surface- plausible) idea of measurement bias could have gone unnoticed until someone actually re-measured the skulls, but the statistical error that Gould committed was there for anyone to see.
We now know why it took at least 10 out of these 30 years: stuck in journal limbo.

1 comment:

M said...

Steve Hsu noted a similar situation in a recent post:

"Then Assistant Professor HoSang once publicly stated (during a social science seminar at Oregon I attended) that he would "do everything in his power" to oppose another (Sociology) faculty member's effort to explain recent genetic results to the broader field. I found this statement so odd that it stuck in my memory. The paper that elicited the threat is published here. The story behind the publication of the paper (which took something like 4 years; I have read the actual referee reports), by a faculty member who has held tenured positions at both Oregon and Dartmouth, is shocking and contributed to my comments in the last paragraph above."

Greg Cochran recounts difficulties getting the ashkenazi intelligence paper published here. here.