End Peer Review

Several articles in the July 25 issue of The Scientist focus on one of the major problems that we are having in American science and why we are losing our technological edge to other countries. The articles on “blue sky” funding [from British Petroleum] and “renegade” researchers, and the editorial about Uncle Sam needing more good scientists all illustrate problems that have roots in the peer-review process. It is well known that people with innovative, creative ideas departing from common dogma do not get funded by NIH or NSF, and those having ideas that depart from common dogma are castigated and reviled, and their papers are rejected by peer review. Indeed, in the traditional United States scientific establishment, there is little room for imagination, “maverick” thinkers, or people that might confute long- held myths. Study sections, “review panels,” and editorial boards will continue to ensure that this...

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