The UnAustralian

Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Peer Review As Censorship

Or so say John Daly as he explains why he shouldn't undergo normal scientific procedure:

All censorship is bad; that is a fundamental precept in any free society. But what is 'peer review' but a genteel system of censorship? It permits the (anonymous) 'peers' to not only emasculate a paper, but to even blackball it from publication, and not even be personally accountable for doing so! Its proponents justify this undemocratic practice by claiming it excludes bad science or unsupportable claims. That may be a worthy aim in itself, but in this as in many other cases, the ends do not justify the means, but are instead corrupted by those means.

What if the 'peers' themselves have lost the plot? Where organisational orthodoxy is at stake, peer review can and does take on the form of active censorship against dissenting views. This is exactly what is now happening today in climate science - the active exclusion from publication of any scientific material which opposes the current warming orthodoxy. This is why so many 'sceptic' scientists resort to the internet to get their views across - it allows the censorship barrier posed by a discriminatory and corrupted peer review system in the climate sciences to be bypassed.

But a non-censorial peer review would be a positive asset to science, which is why I have promoted the concept of 'open review' on my website Still Waiting for Greenhouse. It provides all the advantages of expert review but excludes the odious censorial practices of anonymous peer review as employed in the journals. When the scientific issue at question involves the public (as global warming claims clearly do), then any practices which introduce censorship into the public debate are simply not acceptable.

John L Daly, Australia

The creationists couldn't have said it any better.

| 11:56 PM