This blog is produced by Boris Barbour. I’m a researcher in neuroscience and an organiser at PubPeer and Peeriodicals (both part of The PubPeer Foundation). I believe that science will advance much more quickly if ideas are worked through—thrashed out—in real time and in public. This blog will host occasional in-depth discussions of papers I have analysed, with a tropism towards those in which biologists get bamboozled with a bunch of equations. Usually issues will have been discussed in private with the authors (if willing) before going public, but, although such discussions can refine some arguments and catch a few errors, they rarely change minds or lead to action. And other readers are left in the dark. Which is why I believe it is important to share one’s analysis publicly. I prefer to benefit from the immediacy and interactivity of the internet rather than relying on the infinitely slow and restrictive editorial channels. Moreover, a few of the papers I aim to discuss are, in my view, striking examples of failures of peer review and the standard publication process: serious nonsense published by credulous glamour journals. Experience teaches that it is incredibly difficult to get conflicted editors (and their distracted referees) to understand what it means when results contradict unshakably established scientific knowledge.
I tend to tweak my writing often, so beware of unannounced minor changes to the posts after they go up, as they converge to a their final form; I’ll flag major scientific changes. The blog posts are licensed under CC BY 2.0, so you may quote them freely, for instance on relevant fora elsewhere. Disclaimer: the views expressed on this blog are my own; they should not be assumed to reflect the opinions of my employers or other organisations for whom I am active.