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From: John Rose (107.136.181.36)
Subject:         Trust Us We're Experts!!!
Date: October 7, 2014 at 8:17 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: Cooking Starch Gut Fermentation Carrots Sweet Potatoes and Types of Permissable Sprouts posted by The Sproutarian on October 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm:

>>...is there any peer reviewed science on this highly dubious claim?<<

A 1998 study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that 96% of peer reviewed articles had financial ties to the drug they were studying. (Stelfox, 1998) Big shock, huh? Any disclosures? Yeah, right. This study should be pointed out whenever somebody starts getting too pompous about the objectivity of peer review, like they often do.


"Trust Us We're Experts!"
by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber

“The idea that all scientific experiments are replicated to keep the process honest is also something of a myth. In reality, the number of findings from one scientist that get checked by others is quite small. Most scientists are too busy, research funds are too limited, and the pressure to produce new work is too great for this type of review to occur very often. What occurs instead is a system of “peer review,” in which panels of experts are convened to pass judgment on the work of other researchers. Peer review is used mainly in two situations: during the grant approval process to decide which research should get funding, and after the research has been completed to determine whether the results should be accepted for publication in a scientific journal.

Like the myth of the scientific method, peer review is also a fairly new phenomenon. ...As government support for science increased, it became necessary to develop a formal system for deciding which projects should receive funding.

In some ways, the system of peer review functions like the antithesis of the scientific method described above. Whereas the scientific method assumes that “experiment is supreme” and purports to eliminate bias, peer review deliberately imposes the bias of peer reviewers on the scientific process, both before and after experiments are conducted. ...peer review can also institutionalize conflicts of interest and a certain amount of dogmatism.” "Trust Us We're Experts!" p. 198

“’The problem with peer review is that we have good evidence on its deficiencies and poor evidence on its benefits,’ the British Medical Journal observed in 1997. ‘We know that it is expensive, slow, prone to bias, open to abuse, possibly anti-innovatory, and unable to detect fraud. We also know that the published papers that emerge from the process are often grossly deficient.’

In theory, the process of peer review offers protection against scientific errors and bias. In reality, it has proven incapable of filtering out the influence of government and corporate funders, whose biases often affect research outcomes.” "Trust Us We're Experts!" p. 199

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