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Clickbait is a winner: The most cited articles in top science journals turned out to be flops

When it comes to scientific truths, even in top journals like Science and Nature, the more wrong it is, the more it gets cited. Even after other researchers have failed to repeat it, and been published saying so, the citations don’t slow down. Almost 9 out of 10 of the new citations keep citing it as if it were still correct. Who said science was self-correcting?

It’s so bad that the junkier articles in Nature and Science that couldn’t be replicated were cited 300 times as often as the more boring papers that could be replicated.  In other words, the supposedly best two science journals, and the industry that reads them, have become a filter for eye-candy-science-junk.

And it was all so predictable — with  the fixation on “counting citations” as an inane substitute for analysis: we got what we didn’t think about.  The drive to get citations and media headlines means the modern industry of science has become a filter to amplify sensationalism, not science.

Science is a form of entertainment, not a search for the truth.

A new replication crisis: Research that is less likely to be true is cited more

The authors added that journals may feel pressure to publish interesting findings, and so do academics. For example, in promotion decisions, most academic institutions use citations as an important metric in the decision of whether to promote a faculty member.

This may be the source of the “replication crisis,” first discovered the early 2010s.

So much for the theory that peer reviewed journals are supposed to be the rigorous guardians of modern science.

Circular scientist

..

What a trap:

The more interesting and surprising a science paper is, the more it is likely to be published and cited. But the more cited it is, the more likely it is that no one will be able to replicate the results. Since “interesting” is judged through Big-Government-feeding-troughs, what’s interesting is often political activism.

A new replication crisis: Research that is less likely to be true is cited more

Science and Nature Journals, need a jolly close up look.The paper reveals that findings from studies that cannot be verified when the experiments are repeated have a bigger influence over time. The unreliable research tends to be cited as if the results were true long after the publication failed to replicate.

“We also know that experts can predict well which papers will be replicated,” write the authors Marta Serra-Garcia, assistant professor of economics and strategy at the Rady School and Uri Gneezy, professor of behavioral economics also at the Rady School. “Given this prediction, we ask ‘why are non-replicable papers accepted for publication in the first place?'”

Their possible answer is that review teams of academic journals face a trade-off. When the results are more “interesting,” they apply lower standards regarding their reproducibility.

The link between interesting findings and nonreplicable research also can explain why it is cited at a much higher rate — the authors found that papers that successfully replicate are cited 153 times less than those that failed.

“Interesting or appealing findings are also covered more by media or shared on platforms like Twitter, generating a lot of attention, but that does not make them true,” Gneezy said.

Only 60% of Science and Nature papers could be replicated:

Serra-Garcia and Gneezy analyzed data from three influential replication projects which tried to systematically replicate the findings in top psychology, economic and general science journals (Nature and Science). In psychology, only 39 percent of the 100 experiments successfully replicated. In economics, 61 percent of the 18 studies replicated as did 62 percent of the 21 studies published in Nature/Science.

With the findings from these three replication projects, the authors used Google Scholar to test whether papers that failed to replicate are cited significantly more often than those that were successfully replicated, both before and after the replication projects were published. The largest gap was in papers published in Nature/Science: non-replicable papers were cited 300 times more than replicable ones.

What starts off bad, grows to something worse:

They also show the impact of such citations grows over time. Yearly citation counts reveal a pronounced gap between papers that replicated and those that did not. On average, papers that failed to replicate are cited 16 times more per year. This gap remains even after the replication project is published.

“Remarkably, only 12 percent of post-replication citations of non-replicable findings acknowledge the replication failure,” the authors write.

 We are using a peer reviewed paper to poke holes at peer review… If this paper is any good, it won’t be cited.

REFERENCE

Marta Serra-Garcia, Uri Gneezy. Nonreplicable publications are cited more than replicable onesScience Advances, 2021; 7 (21): eabd1705 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd1705

9.2 out of 10 based on 79 ratings

77 comments to Clickbait is a winner: The most cited articles in top science journals turned out to be flops

  • #
    Global Cooling

    Like in tube. More shares equals more truthful video. 🙂

    Academic system clearly incentivizes self-serving and confirmation biases. Nothing to worry about results in drying funding. No conspiracy is needed.

    220

    • #
      Jojodogfacedboy

      It’s a totally enclosed system that they’ve created…the box.
      If you ain’t part of it, your totally ignored, shunned and at times ridiculed.
      Hence, outside the box thinking is bad as common sense has been decimated for ‘trust our experts’ who really have no clue what they do.

      310

      • #
        John

        A big part of this is that junk papers are not clearly identified as such.

        There are several obstacles to knowing what’s junk.

        – There’s no interest in funding (and publishing) papers that confirm what other people say (but really this is essential)

        – Some areas of science have become more complex and require more resources to validate the findings of papers

        – Universities and other research establishments aren’t going to help any work that might undermine their credibility. (Remember Michael Mann’s data for his temperature graph!)

        – There’s no identification system. One has to be fortunate enough to find the paper that showed the first paper was junk.

        – Even if a paper was identified as junk and got labelled as such or even withdrawn, people would have downloaded their own copies and these copies would be unchanged.

        110

  • #
    Lance

    Welcome to the Echo Chamber: designed specifically to support conformity, ideology, ego, and control.

    471

    • #
      PeterS

      and lots of lies.

      320

    • #
      GlenM

      Abnegating Heuristic principles. Maybe Schroedingers cat knows better.

      50

    • #
      Deano

      Tragic when you consider that the scientific revolution originally had to fight religious dogma. The Climate Change cult might soon start insisting the Earth is the centre of the universe and burning all books which contradict this.

      22

  • #

    Most “science journalists” couldn’t get high marks in a middle school science course, and most “science communicators” are, if anything, even worse. Most “science communicators” and “climate communicators” routinely deceive their readers, not only through their own scientific ignorance, but also by deliberately misrepresenting certainty.

    431

  • #
    wokebuster

    Would it be too much of a stretch to replace “more interesting” with “more political”?

    [Fair call. I tweaked. I tried. – jo]

    180

  • #
    John Hultquist

    Will this research be replicated?
    Asking for a friend.

    160

    • #
      Klem

      When I did my undergrad science degree back when steam was still considered high tech, many of my Professors were often spending time duplicating and replicating peer reviewed papers. I don’t know if they do that anymore.

      100

  • #
    Penguinite

    Peer Reviewing is junk! Not even Science. Just ask Peter Ridd. His suggestion that PR of the Great Barrier Reef degradation papers were unsafe, especially with regard to Government Policy Law, got him the sack. Ridd’s book “Reef Heresy” is full of logical and not unreasonable comment but still, JCU et al refused to acknowledge or correct. Ridd’s most strident observation was the inability to replicate.

    450

    • #
      GlenM

      Quite right! Having fun and parties with young undergraduates in the “wet tropics” means a lot to some senior researchers. Flying above the reef at 100 metres To get an accurate assessment, or putting on your SCUBA clobber at Cape Cleveland all in the name of good science. If it feels like science – you know it is. Great fishing out there with spanish Mackeral and Red emperor being a couple of desirable species. Haven’t caught a clownfish yet.

      100

  • #
    PeterS

    Just as correlation does not imply causation, peer review does not guarantee correctness. Peer review also does not avoid fraud. There have been many cases of retractions once fraud was proven, and it’s getting worse. Peer review is clearly biased and close minded otherwise we would be seeing many papers published by now exposing the CAGW as a hoax by way of the real facts, not the fraudulent data frequently presented as facts.

    310

  • #
    TdeF

    When you are making it up, it’s nice if you can quote someone else who is in the same boat. And to question a lot of people is uncollegiate, a new term used to fire Dr Peter Ridd who dared questioned his peers at JCU in tropical paradise. As long term head of the Physics department and engaged with real and hard science, it was extremely uncollegiate for him to suggest that others were just making it up. Another popped up just a few weeks ago, some 22 extraordinary but unreproducible science discoveries on CO2 from JCU.

    And in these new sciences, especially ‘The Science’ of man made Global Warming/Climate Change/Zero nett emissions, peer approval on the evils of CO2 becomes an essential tool because making it up is now a world industry and gives credibility to garbage.

    And in paradise the money flows like water, like former PM Turnbull’s incredible last act, the missing $444 million to ‘save’ the Great Barrier Reef. How generous of Malcolm and Lucy, especially as it was our money, not theirs. How much of that will flow to fund the great research at JCU?

    The recipients of this unrequested, unjustified, utterly purposeless pile of money, 7 1/2 tons of solid gold is unknown and unknowable and unaccountable. Bigger than any bank robbery in Australian history. It vanished. Some is it is being spent in the pub on the pier. $132 million on ‘administration’ was certain. So the few million spent dragging poor Dr Ridd though court after court seems fully justified to save the reputations of the disreputable. In the world of golden handshakes, it gleams and will fund a world of unrepeatable research and pier reviews. Green and Gold go together, the emblem of our land of easy money, a pier industry which will fund many happy days in paradise for pollies and perpetrators.

    380

    • #
      TdeF

      And the Labor opposition will not dare question this gold robbery to fund holidays in the tropics and fake pier reviews. Uncritical pub on the pier review is an essential tool to pretend real science is involved.

      Labor are in it up to their necks like LINO Turnbull, trying to justify shutting down all mining and reliable power generation and manufacturing in Australia for their ideological communist friends in China and the public servant inner city Greens, friends of the ABC and the rich traders in windmills, solar panels and carbon credits. Too bad about the poor workers in blue singlets though. Don’t worry, they are rusted on and will always vote Labor, so just please the Greens. It hardly matter to Labor as none of their leaders has had a real job and supporting science is something you can buy. It’s called peer review.

      280

      • #

        In fine form today TdeF!

        My parents in law are rusted on Labour voters. I have given up trying to show them Labours complete abandonment of the “worker”. When I do they opine about Gough giving them real money and Malcolm Fraser stealing things off them. Like many they are in a complete timewarp, in love with the idea of Labour caring but the reality passes them by….

        10

  • #
    Simon

    Research that gives an unexpected result is more likely to be cited but is also more likely to be wrong. That’s not surprising. The media also tends to amplify this effect. Jo often cites research that has unexpected or contrarian conclusions. Science is supposed to be self-correcting, which is why replication is important.

    92

    • #
      el gordo

      Peer Review is appallingly flawed because of inherent bias and cannot self correct.

      https://www.beefcentral.com/news/greater-quality-assurance-needed-in-reef-science-dr-peter-ridd-tells-inquiry/

      70

    • #

      And the reason it gets cited is that researchers are still trying to replicate*. The paper that gets replicated early stops being cited except when needed rather than as a focus of study.

      *replication is a tricky business. Some latitude needs to be given to transient observations that lead to new ideas or hypotheses. In this case replication is replaced by confirmation by different means. This is actually required in addition to replication anyway. If you just duplicate a study and find the same thing it is still possible that the results are an outcome of methods so you still need studies that test results/hypotheses using a different approach. Think natural selection’s trial by a million studies.

      111

      • #
        el gordo

        When it comes to climate science, most papers are flawed because they have already accepted the view that CO2 causes global warming.

        120

        • #

          Clearly Gee Aye, the reason is gets cited is NOT because people are trying to replicate. Since 90% continue to cite it, without mentioning the others who tried and failed, what’s most likely is that a bunch of authors cut and paste and continue to cite without looking to see if newer papers have shown it’s wrong. Lazy. and stuck on the publish or perish treadmill where any paper is better than no paper.

          190

          • #

            This too is a problem however it is not a problem that distinguishes between the types of papers.

            16

          • #

            Jo
            There is no standard at all to guide on how a peer review is meant to take place.

            I audit companies and like most other auditors I audit to a standard. There is zero standard for peer review. Some good points to guide on peer reviewing may be;

            – Are those carrying out the review actually competent by virtue of experience or study in said field. how were they selected?
            – What methodology do those reviewing the paper have to follow?
            – Is there a checklist of key points to ensure are in place – testing protocols, availability of raw data for review & systemic review of that data, what data was deemed an outlier and not included etc. Has this checklist been completed by those reviewing?
            – What data needs to be made available to those carrying out the review to enable a proper assessment?
            – Is there a cross section of opinion on the subject being reviewed being covered by those carrying out the peer review (it always helps to have somebody who has a different bent to look at your work – they can more easily see errors)
            – How many people actually carried out the review?
            – What comments and issues did the reviewers raise, and were these addressed to their satisfaction?
            – Is there an auditing of the process to ensure that those claiming Peer review on their paper have actually had a proper review take place, and are records of those reviews able to be checked and verified?

            And there is far more. It may seem bureaucratic but to have a proper peer review system in place there must be a comprehensive standard and competent auditors must be able to carry out regular audits to confirm that compliance occurs.

            From discussion with Peter Ridd on this, it would appear that peer review is a “mates review” of very questionable value in many cases. A complete joke. Maybe in the past people treated it seriously but these days “peer reviewed” cannot be taken to mean very much.

            30

            • #

              All of those questions you asked can be answered by an individual journal if you were to audit them. The lack of a standard is a straw man, pure and simple.

              02

        • #
          Simon

          How do you ‘know’ that most papers are flawed? If you know this to be true then surely the domain experts will know this as well? If they don’t then you are a domain expert and they are not, in which case why aren’t you working in academia?

          17

  • #
    Lawrie

    If a doctor asks why you are not getting the jab you might remind them that science is no longer trustworthy. Taking Global Warming as an example of a multitude of research that is not reproducible and the research that found that nearly half of medical research is dodgy to say the least. Science has been trashed by government grants so what science can be trusted? The GBR is a case in point where a large group of grant funded “experts” continue to find it dying while a handful of real scientists backed by the people who live and work on the reef find it in seriously good health. Seems to prove the point that if you are paid to find a problem you will a bit like Beria who said “show me the man and I will show you his crime”.

    270

    • #
      Lance

      Government Grants cause academic corruption because said Grants politicize the research.

      Govt has Zero place funding any research that doesn’t specifically support a Govt Primary Function such as Defense.

      Every other aspect of Research ought to be solely funded by Uni Grants or Corporate Grants. Get Govt out of the game.

      Energy research can be funded by Utility Company, Corporate, or Uni Grants. No Govt Grants.

      140

  • #
    Vic Hughes

    Sadly the phenomenon of headlines pending doom for the subject is not limited to Science. When I was on Wall Street, it was common knowledge that if a CEO made the cover of Business week, short the stock because the Press almost always got it wrong and over hyped the stock at the peak. In two years the stock would fall significantly. I never did an analyst of it but anecdotally it seemed true. Whether right or not, the fact investment pros believed it gave it power.

    60

  • #
    Robber

    The media is rewarded based on eyeballs, not on delivering facts. Editors love a great headline.
    And the same applies to the twitterati – attract followers with quick chirps, no evidence required.
    However it is disturbing that science has gone the same way.

    100

  • #
    David Maddison

    The Big Lie has been defined as follows. It is misattributed to Josef Goebbels, although nevertheless used by the Nazis.

    In other words the strategies of the National Socialists are still with us, this time being promoted by their cousins, the International Socialists..

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    And in OSS’s (forerunner of the CIA) assessment of Hitler they said:

    His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.

    90

  • #

    Richard Feynmann once floated an idea of a whole new class of theoretical but undiscovered particles having fractional charges of positive, negative or neutral. Using various combinations of this new class of particle, he was able to explain the almost daily discovery of brand new particles being detected by brutalising various innocent girl next door in collisions. It all kinda hung together and explained the strangeness of ever more esoteric sub-particles being discovered. All these new-fangled particles were merely nothing more than configurations of a few of these basic theoretical particles. Instant outta da can reductionism!

    It was all very interesting, intriguing and of course a complete load of boll**ks, which he knew, but I think his impish nature couldn’t help but after having had such a delightfully subversive idea, letting it out into the world. It was good for a laugh but it also spawned a war of passionate papers between feather-weight physicists which either defended or attacked the idea. They’d all had the triple humour bypass operation.

    So much for the authority of published papers …

    Pointy

    130

  • #

    Peer review biased, you say? I’m shocked, shocked!

    https://youtu.be/SjbPi00k_ME?t=12

     

    Phil Jones to Mike Mann (Jul 8, 2004):

    “Kevin [Trenberth] and I will keep [these skeptics’ papers] out [of the next IPCC report] somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

    https://sealevel.info/FOIA/1089318616.txt

    200

  • #
    Hanrahan

    I’m a tradie not a scientist and would like to think that the majority of scientists [a big majority?] experiment first, come to an intellectually sound conclusion and publish what they have found and no more.

    That I wonder if I’m right is a damning critique of scientists, at least those in the weather and medical fields. Lack of trust is a terrible thing.

    50

    • #
      Aethelred

      The rubber hits road when pharmaceutical companies tries to translate basic research discoveries into new therapies.

      e.g. https://www.nature.com/articles/483531a?linkId=33568130

      We know Big Pharma is evil BUT they are very careful to get the science right at the beginning because each failure costs about $50 million. And they still screw up https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rofecoxib

      That’s not to say that the garbage that gets published isn’t a big big problem; I once published a paper showing that a whole chunk of literature was wrong. Those papers 100s of citations. Mine has 1 and took 3 years to publish. Won’t be dong that again.

      10

  • #
    Alistair Crooks

    I wrote about this …

    Trofim Lysenko looks down and smiles.
    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2021/01/trofim-lysenko-looks-down-and-smiles/

    There has been a “step-change” in how science is conducted. I think we see a very similar “step-change” in modern journalism too.

    20

  • #
    Earl

    And not forgetting the very recent (2018) “Grievance Studies Affair”.
    https://phys.org/news/2018-10-real-fake-hoodwinks-journals.html

    20

    • #
      David Maddison

      Earl, there have been a number of obviously fake papers published of the type you describe. In your link I like:

      A faux study claiming that “Dog parks are Petri dishes for canine ‘rape culture'” by one “Helen Wilson” was published in May in the journal Gender, Place and Culture.

      10

  • #
    David Maddison

    Back in the day, real science used to be done by gentleman of leisure, funded by themselves, or benefactors.

    Also see:

    https://www.cato-unbound.org/2013/08/05/terence-kealey/case-against-public-science

    The Case against Public Science
    Terence Kealey • August 5, 2013

    QUOTE

    The fundamental problem that bedevils the study of the economics of science is that every contemporary actor in the story is parti pris: every contemporary actor who enters the field starts by pre-assuming that governments should fund science. Such actors are either industrialists looking for corporate welfare, or scholars looking to protect their universities’ income, or scientists (who, frankly, will look for money from any and every source—they are shameless) or economists who assume that knowledge is “non-rivalrous” and only “partially excludable” (which are posh ways of saying that copying is cheap and easy.)

    But no contemporary has ever shown empirically that governments need fund science—the assertion has been made only on theoretical grounds. Remarkably, the one economist who did look at the question empirically found that the evidence showed that governments need not fund science, but his claim has been for a long time ignored, because he was notoriously a libertarian—and libertarians have no traction amongst the scholars, politicians, and corporate welfarists who dominate the field. In 1776, moreover, that economist supported a revolution, so he is not only outdated but he was, presumably, subversive of the social order.

    Nonetheless, if only out of antiquarian interest, let’s look at what this empiricist reported. The evidence showed, he wrote, that there were three significant sources of new industrial technology. The most important was the factory itself: “A great part of the machines made use of in manufactures … were originally the inventions of common workmen.” The second source of new industrial technology were the factories that made the machines that other factories used: “Many improvements have been made by the ingenuity of the makers of the machines.” The least important source of industrial innovation was academia: “some improvements in machinery have been made by those called philosophers [aka academics.]” But our economist noted that that flow of knowledge from academia into industry was dwarfed by the size of the opposite flow of knowledge: “The improvements which, in modern times, have been made in several different parts of philosophy, have not, the greater part of them, been made in universities [ie, they were made in industry.]” Our empiricist concluded, therefore, that governments need not fund science: the market and civil society would provide.

    Arguments for the subsidy of so-called public goods, moreover, were dismissed by our libertarian economist with: “I have never known much good done by those who have affected to trade for the public good.” In particular, arguments by industrialists for subsidies were dismissed with: “people of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversions, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public.” And our revolutionary underminer of the social order dismissed the idea that wise investment decisions could be entrusted to politicians, even to that nice Mr Obama, because he distrusted: “that insidious and crafty animal, vulgarly called a statesman or politician.”

    Our long-dead economist recognized the existence of public goods, which he described as those “of such a nature, that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals”, but he could not see that scientific research fell into that category.

    The economist in question was, of course, Adam Smith, whose Wealth of Nations from which these quotes were drawn was published in 1776. And he is indeed long-dead. Yet the contemporary empirical evidence supports his contention that governments need not support scientific research. Consider, for example, the lack of historical evidence that government investment in research contributes to economic growth.

    The world’s leading nation during the 19th century was the UK, which pioneered the Industrial Revolution. In that era the UK produced scientific as well as technological giants, ranging from Faraday to Kelvin to Darwin—yet it was an era of laissez faire, during which the British government’s systematic support for science was trivial.

    The world’s leading nation during the 20th century was the United States, and it too was laissez faire, particularly in science. As late as 1940, fifty years after its GDP per capita had overtaken the UK’s, the U.S. total annual budget for research and development (R&D) was $346 million, of which no less than $265 million was privately funded (including $31 million for university or foundation science). Of the federal and states governments’ R&D budgets, moreover, over $29 million was for agriculture (to address—remember—the United States’ chronic problem of agricultural over productivity) and $26 million was for defence (which is of trivial economic benefit.) America, therefore, produced its industrial leadership, as well as its Edisons, Wrights, Bells, and Teslas, under research laissez faire.

    SEE LINK FOR REST

    61

  • #
    David Maddison

    Comments on President Imposter Biden’s wife’s Ed.D.

    Jill Biden’s Doctorate Is Garbage Because Her Dissertation Is Garbage

    Kyle Smith

    December 17, 2020, 8:22 am

    Mrs. Biden wanted the credential for its own sake. As for its quality, well. She got it from the University of Delaware, whose ties to her husband, its most illustrious alumnus if you don’t count Joe Flacco, run so deep that it has a school of public policy named after him. That the University of Delaware would have rejected her 2006 dissertation as sloppy, poorly written, non-academic, and barely fit for a middle-school Social Studies classroom (all of which it is) when her husband had been representing its state in the U.S. Senate for more than three decades was about as likely as Tom Hagen telling Vito Corleone that his wife is a fat sow on payday. The only risk to the University of Delaware was that it might strain its collective wrist in its rush to rubber-stamp her doctoral paper. Mrs. Biden could have turned in a quarter-a**ed excuse for a magazine article written at the level of Simple English Wikipedia and been heartily congratulated by the university for her towering mastery. Which is exactly what happened.

    Jill Biden’s dissertation is not an addition to the sum total of human knowledge. It is not a demonstration of expertise in its specific topic or its broad field. It is a gasping, wheezing, frail little Disney forest creature that begs you to notice the effort it makes to be the thing it is imitating while failing so pathetically that any witnesses to its ineptitude must feel compelled, out of manners alone, to drag it to the nearest podium and give it a participation trophy. Which is more or less what an Ed.D. is. It’s a degree that only deeply unimpressive people feel confers the honorific of “Doctor.” People who are actually smart understand that being in possession of a credential is no proof of intelligence.

    My friends, I have read this document in its entirety and it is so equally lacking in rhetorical force, boldness of conception, and original research that it amounts to a triple null set, a vacuum inside a blank inside an abyss. If Ingmar Bergman were alive and hired to make a film about this paper, he would say, “I can’t do it, there’s so much emptiness even I cannot grasp it,” and it would sound so much worse in Swedish that suicide hotlines would have to hire extra staff. Gene Simmons has a better claim to be a Doctor of Love than Jill Biden to be a Doctor of Education; after all, Simmons has spent a lifetime demonstrating mastery of his field. As for Biden, she has spent a lot of time teaching remedial English to slow learners in community colleges. Which is like being a rock musician who’s in a bar band. That plays covers. At mixers. Held in assisted-living facilities. Mrs. Biden’s dissertation emits so much noxious methane the EPA should regulate it, Greta Thunberg should denounce it, and Hollywood celebrities should hold a telethon to draw awareness to its dangers.

    See link for rest.

    https://news.yahoo.com/jill-biden-doctorate-garbage-because-212259558.html

    101

    • #
      Lance

      well, let’s do look on the only ray of sunshine that exists in the sordid affairs of today.

      The U.S. got a “twofer”.

      A senile, angry, dementia ridden, has-been, and an imposter of inglorious incompetence, all in one single event.

      A lie, wrapped in a riddle, swaddled in malfeasance, dripping with ignominy, and thus providing the only bulwark against a sociopathic grifter, subservient to a failed ideology and a foreign master, all together working against Western achievements, whilst holding sway over some 3,000 nuclear weapons.

      It doesn’t get much more depressing than this. At least for me. Kind of like watching a tragedy in motion.

      My only hope is that enough citizens remain to declaw, defang, neuter, emasculate, and abort this tragedy in the next election, should one occur. Let’s just say his party won’t be getting my vote.

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  • #
    Serge Wright

    In many cases the journals know these papers are garbage, but they deliberately publish them anyway, provided they are supporting the journals ideological position. We all know this is exactly how climate science works. It’s always been about the politics and never about the science. You get someone to write a paper on fake links to rising sea levels, droughts, fires or cyclones and despite being debunked by the small remaining group of non-ideologically aligned scientists using real-world data, the left leaning print media will only ever cite the fake alarmist study as gospel, over and over. This science “fiction” propaganda is also not just restricted to papers published in journals. We see ideologically aligned scientists themselves coming out with crazy alarmist claims, such as New York being under water by 2028, or dams and rivers that will never fill again. The bent media never pursue these people when it’s obvious they got it wrong, because they are all working together to keep the lie alive.

    Perhaps the biggest lie of all is the climate emergency. This claim is not supported by a single paper anywhere and yet the bent media use this to claim Australia must immediately move to net-zero and remove its 1% of the man-made contribution of CO2, to save the planet. But the same media never mention China, who are allowed to further increase their 30% contribution by any amount they choose for another decade.

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      John PAK

      Perhaps even those in academia are a little lost on the papers. My experience says that few are well versed in all areas of a topic even in simple matters like building construction.

      My father once devised an algorithm for assessing how many reactor fuel rods might be expected to fail after so many duty cycles. He described it as “probabilistic nonsense really” but showed it to his boss at UKAEA. The next thing was that he heard his “paper” was doing the rounds of the EU atomic energy outfits and he was highly embarrassed. He said part of the problem was that his boss wasn’t a proper engineer so couldn’t tell the difference between “an idea for discussion” and a definitive paper.

      By his own admittance, his calculations for the weld failure rate of the AGR fuel rods was wrong (he held the patent on them). The cannisters/rods continued to hold together long after his exhaustive calculated failure point. He was at the top of his game but humble enough to admit failure despite the design still performing well to this day.

      What hope do we have of journals publishing stuff that is accurate if the source is a bit wonky?

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    David Maddison

    The so-called “fact checkers” of social(ist) media, no more than paid propagandists of the Left, have taken the lies promoted in these “scientific” journals to a whole new level.

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    Peter

    It seems at least some citations are from the authors themselves in later papers.

    This may give the appearance of credibility to both papers, since the mere fact of having a citation may be sufficient to many readers.

    There can be a lot of work involved digging through all the source material to find the layer cake of errors.

    Self citing as though it’s an authoritative source is a pet peeve of mine.

    “This is a highly unethical practice and should be discouraged at every opportunity.” – Peter 2021.

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      Analitik

      And then there are the circular references where author A cites a paper by author B (which cited another paper by author C)[repeat X times to for obsfucation] which cited another paper by author A all on the same point.

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    Angus Black

    It is also clear that the authors of non-replicable studies in “high quality” journals (we know these authors overwhelmingly already have stellar publication records and are based at the “best” universities) either know that their results are fake…or jolly well should do.

    And, of course, there are many serial offenders!

    No one seems willing to point out the shame that is our scientific establishment.

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    sophocles

    Well, here’s an unexpected result which won’t bring in many eyeballs as clickbait for the media. It’s for all of you who think CO2 controls/is the cause of climate warming.

    Spoiler alert: it’s not CO2. Nor methane. Nor Chlorofluorocarbons.

    I wish I could tell y’all to read it carefully and fully because you would be examined on it, but unfortunately I can’t.

    So instead:
    Enjoy.

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      Lance

      Yes, I read it. Water is the climate driver as the paper puts things. Decent paper. Thanks for that.

      But, take a step back. The Bright Yellow Thingy ™ and the interior core heat from the Earth, together, provide the energy by which the water dominates the climatic sequence. Cosmic rays influence nucleation on water vapor, clouds, rainfall, reflectance/albedo. Water participates in the system, but did not originate the energy that drives it.

      The energy sources drive everything else. Human contributions control some 0.117% of the atmospheric influences, and none of the sources. Ie, humans and their activities are irrelevant to the overall system. Like fleas arguing about their influence upon an elephant.

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    Flok

    Up to date the attempts to mitigate human impact on climate change have created the following and thank the science:

    1. Socioeconomic chaos
    2. Industry uncertainty
    3. Industries division
    4. Financial systems division
    5. Societies division
    6. Academia division (new form of a nut)
    7. Increased cost of living
    8. Job losses
    9. Energy instability
    10. Bias
    11. No effective solution
    12. Wider impact on environment

    Science now days is getting to the market via proxies who are nothing but designed opportunists who capitalise on sales.

    I cringe at statements such as “there could be water under the surface” of just about any planet, and that makes a scientist?

    I cringe at the thought of so called life on Mars, microbial? And that would make it a scientific discovery? Expensive curiosity comprised of engineering, physics and mathematics. If theories of origins of life from a single cell are in fact accepted, where are the experiments that demonstrate such path? Scientifically advanced society? No, just hungry for money.

    This stigma and authoritarian dogmatism which, as far as I can read between the lines, has no intention of providing a solution.
    Instead it baths in attention of its ill echoes through and with the media, like a good little weasel socialist would.

    But the true innovators and shakers in this world are suppressed, sidelined, underfunded and abused.

    There could be a little reprieve if I could to see a Little Johnny joke in there somewhere. But no.

    In this case to be optimistic and say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is no tunnel.

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      John PAK

      To be fair it is quite hard to get a job with a science degree these days. Here in Au my son picked up a reasonable chemistry degree and was lucky to have done work experience in a power station so scored a good job but many of his peers were still out of work a year later. One went to a UK research post. My dentist says he did a double degree in chemistry and couldn’t find a suitable career job so retrained and joined his father’s dental practice in Sydney.
      It would seem likely that many folk with science jobs are keen to publish something to justify the existence of their position. Part of the problem must be that so many folk these days are scientifically illiterate so have trouble discerning the truth of a matter.

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        Flok

        Through my travels in mining I have met with some brilliant chemists, scientists and engineers. Their stories to get to point of being called a chief chemist, chief scientist, and chief engineer and so on is a reflection of their hard work.

        To be recognised within the industry for your skill takes time and does bring good income.

        So called scientists that make claims through media have never ventured outside of own lab. They have invested time to obtain doctorates and use that for what it’s worth. Noise.

        There are only few scientists that I know that have over 100 patents to their name. They are true scientists that contribute to this society and an absolute pleasure to talk to.

        Young graduates find it hard to get the foot into the market. Often requiring several years of experience for many positions which are filled by skilled labour imports from overseas rather than giving an Australian fair go.

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    sophocles

    No. The main driving energy is The UNR. (The Uncontrolled Nuclear Reactor.)

    We’re ants.

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    Russell

    I am wondering if all the extra effort to get more students (& girls?) interested in STEM has been totally counter-productive.
    Wasn’t it supposed to generate lots of new intellectual capability and accelerate discoveries?
    It’s only encouraged a pile of unsophisticated glory seekers into the science fields and completely messed them up.
    No genuine commitment to science principles – just herds of group-thinkers scrambling to make their name in a soup of mediocrity.
    Throwing more indiscriminate wood on the fire does not always result in a better heating outcome.
    Not that the “science” could not have predicted that …

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      you seem to have leaped from “wondering” about the effect of a focus on STEM to the next paragraph knowing that the focus has produced negative effects. And all without any sort of evidence except that it is the sort of thing that is claimed on this blog.

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        Ross

        He can “wonder”- its a free world. Yes, it would be nice to have stats from all the tertiary institutions to see if any more students are actually signing up for STEM courses. But, I’m not sure I would trust the stats anyway if they were solely sourced from any of our universities. I’m talking Australia here. My 3 sons all just recently completed uni courses in Victoria. Architecture/ Construction Management, Aerospace engineering and Finance. So a broad range but all 3 were good at maths/science. They all said they were still in the minority at campus and that ratio hadn’t changed much over the duration of their courses. ( 1 son had 7 years at uni). Also, the guys still outnumbered the girls. Also, I coach sports at a state secondary school. I can definitely say the STEM based students are still in the minority. Science is still perceived as being difficult at secondary school level in government schools. But, I think that ratio changes slightly for private schools.

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          Course EFT student numbers is data collected by the government. It is all there. Any fudging would result in jail for the administrator concerned. It is not a secret.

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      The real problem with science is the lack of free speech, the lack of competition from alternate views created by one-sided dominant public funding. Universities have been completely captured by activists. Governments have been “picking winners” in science and technology for decades and they keep getting it wrong. The whole incentive structure is failing to reward the smartest critical thinkers.

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        Global Cooling

        The value of PhD’s goes down in the eyes of the hiring managers in the private sector. If they want to hire a thought leader they expect critical thinking, new innovations, improvements in business. Eventually all PhD’s compete to get a job in university or government.

        The value of university studies goes down in the eyes of the young. A decree does not give you a good job.

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    shortie of greenbank

    This topic was covered by Ioannidis back in 2005. I believe he also came out with the statement that epidemiology below 200% associations are noise and those above may still be up to 80% wrong.

    https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

    I seem to remember a review of Lancet articles done back about 2017 that found simple investigation of the data supplied by the studies approved by the lancet were 35% false either they gave zero change or opposite result to the quoted result, these were quite often in drug trials. It didn’t mean the other 65% were clean, perhaps they hid their dodgy practices better is all.

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    David Maddison

    A lot of the corruption of science is due to the Left not believing in objective reality.

    This was discussed in the essay:

    https://theworthyhouse.com/2018/11/04/on-the-subjective-mental-state-of-liberals/

    On the Subjective Mental State of Liberals
    written by Charles Haywood

    (Meaning Liberals in the US sense, Leftists.)

    QUOTES

    By liberal, I do not mean classical liberal, or even the American moderate Left that until the 1960s was ascendant in the Democratic Party. Rather, I mean left-liberal, or progressive, the ideology of cultural Marxism, of the Frankfurt School, now dominant in the Democratic Party, as it has been dominant for some time in the academic world and in other worlds controlled by the Left, such as the media-entertainment complex. What goes on behind their eyes? To a neutral observer, the externally visible political actions of today’s liberals are irrational and incoherent. The simplest explanation for their behavior is that liberals are people of low intelligence, and that they are not educated (whatever degrees they may have). An alternative simple explanation is that they desire evil and hide that desire, so their actions and stated reasons do not match. But, while both are possible explanations, it seems unlikely that that any of this is how they perceive the world and their actions. So again—what are the qualia of a liberal?

    The first quale is that liberals do not see reality as it is. What their eyes perceive is not the truth, because everything is filtered through an ideological lens, which removes anything that contradicts their ideology before it can enter their minds. Reality is totally subordinated to political ends, which are derived purely from abstractions

    The second quale, related to but distinct from their divorce from reality, is that liberals use key words, first inside their heads and then spoken out loud, only after mentally assigning them new meanings designed to serve their abstract political goals. For example, in current political discourse, we constantly hear that anything not Left, and especially Trump, is “corrupt” and “illegitimate.” These words are used because liberals know that anything not in agreement with them is bad, and they know that the words “corrupt” or “illegitimate” designate bad things.

    The third quale, again related but distinct, is emotivism ruling rationality. Any matter perceived by a liberal that affects his political worldview is not analyzed objectively, nor are his conclusions supported logically, but rather with unbridled emotion. Occasional efforts at rationality are made, but upon any examination or challenge, emotion swamps any such attempt. Why? Well, we can’t really tell directly, of course, but this phenomenon seems to let the liberal avoid the consequences of denying reality, to serve to indicate tribal affiliation to other liberals, and to signal virtue and righteousness to the world at large, as well as to the liberal himself.

    The fourth quale is breathtaking arrogance, blended with a nebulous, yet unshakeable, conviction of their own moral superiority, both tied to the belief that history is a wave and liberals are destined to ride it like the Silver Surfer. The origin of this is not anything rational, such as an analysis of the past and measured predictions about the future, but an insatiable desire to lord it over supposed inferiors, feeding the human desire to feel that one is on a higher plane than others. This characteristic is often the most evident in particular political discussions, such as those surrounding global warming. It is reinforced, as with the anti-reality quale, by liberals’ living in a walled ecosystem, where they can daily reassure each other that yes, indeed, we are superior.

    So those are the four liberal qualia. I will note that my analysis of qualia is done with a somewhat broad brush. Some liberals, for example, do see the world clearly; they are just evil and want evil ends. Such was Lenin. But in America today, few liberals are like that, though probably more than are willing to admit that their main difference from Pol Pot is that their field of action is in North America, not Asia.

    SEE LINK FOR REST

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    CHRIS

    David…if you are going to paraphrase articles…at least have some explanation. What the hell is QUALIA and QUALE?? I get the gist of your argument, but don’t be like the Maoist Left Brigade…Explain!

    [Best to use CAPS sparsely. – Jo]

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      sophocles

      From: The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary [1993] :

      quale n. Pl: ~lia [L, neut. sing. of qualis of what kind]

      A property, a quality; a thing having certain qualities.

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    Saighdear

    What can I add after all these comments, other than: Been there, seen it, SUFFERING it now – know how I feel? Try having to suffer Idiots every day: ‘Suffer little children….’ Children’s one thing, adults and politicians something else.

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    Analitik

    “Our ABC” still pulls in Mikey Mann as source for CAGW scenarios they are even worse than the science publications.

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