Spier, R. (2002). Peer review and innovation. Science and Engineering Ethics, 8(1), 99-108. This little read paper from 2002 is worth quoting at length. It underlines the inability of peer review to identify important studies, and its role in guarding the status quo in the field. Based on such thinking, some people have come to […]

There’s a lot of evidence for left-wing dominance of academia. One study (Langbert 2018) looked at registered voters and finds quite unbelievable differences: In this article I offer new evidence about something readers of Academic Questions already know: The political registration of full-time, Ph.D.-holding professors in top-tier liberal arts colleges is overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, faculty […]

Science is a set of related methods that aim at finding true patterns about the world. These methods are generally designed so as to remove noise from random circumstances (the traditional focus of statistics) and human biases. Current practices are currently not very good at the second part due to the innumerable ways human biases […]

In reply to: Scott Alexander’s Learning To Love Scientific Consensus. Actually, I have planned (in my mind) a somewhat longer post on my take on the ‘correct contrarian cluster’, or how to make up your mind of what to believe on controversial topics. But I certainly don’t have time to write that now, so instead […]

From the interactive visualization I previously published to give foster an intuitive understanding of the concept: Tail effects are when there are large differences between groups at the extremes (tails) of distributions. This happens when the distributions differ in either the mean or the standard deviation (or both), even when these differences are quite small. […]

Abstract I argue that traditional scientific publication is extremely costly and that scientific publication must move towards more rapid publication practices. I discuss how this might be accomplished by integrating blogposts, The Winnower and ResearchGate. Introduction There are a number of important dimensions that scientists consider when they choose how and where to publish their […]

Also posted on the Project Polymath blog. An interesting study has been published: Thomas S. Bateman, and Andrew M. Hess. Different personal propensities among scientists relate to deeper vs. broader knowledge contributions. PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print March 2, 2015, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1421286112 This is relevant to the study of polymathy, which of course involves making […]