Peer Review: Kathy's Questions

U27111 at U27111 at
Mon Jan 22 05:22:47 EST 1996

On Sun, 21 Jan 1996 13:43:14 -0500 (EST), Alexander Berezin
<berezin at mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA> wrote:

>It depends what you mean by 'constructive feedback'
>(e.g. anonymous reject of your paper, often with
>irrelevant or no comments, - is it 'constructive
>feedback' ?). I think that present (APR) systems
>hinders, rather than encourages, feedback. this is
>one (though not the only) major flaws of APR.

I agree with that as well.

I guest I just got sucked back into the wonderful belief that if
people cared for the truth in the first place... APR would really
work and what you suggest could as well?

I guess that was the point of my previous rambling?

Why should we have to change these systems in the first place if
people only cared about what they were doing?

>No, I am not necessarily buying that 'in earlier times
>things were better'. People are always the same.

No Alex.  In a span of 7 years I have personally seen how it is
only getting worst.  Things were better just back in the mid-80's
compared to now.  And it's not just because I have matured and lost
my idealisms.  I can tell you how entire departments have changed
as well as their goals... and it's not for the better.

>In 12 century Omar Khayam wrote: "Poets [meaning intellectuals of
>the time ] have a habit of gettin together in a circle to spit on
>each others". What we need (and the ONLY thing we CAN) is
>to change the SYSTEM, not the people. All those who tried to
>change PEOPLE overe the course of history consistently
>failed (need examples ?). No, classes on ethics won't do
>the trick.

Agreed!  Change the system to pick out the right (*the* best).  But
at the same time properly training (educating) the future ones.
And I may not have explained that well in my last posting?

But that was what I was referring to.  For not only are the worst
getting rewarded, but the way they make it to the top is setting
examples for our younger ones to follow.

I can tell you about grad students I have trained who felt Gallo
was stupid for getting caught in the first place and then admired
him for getting away with it.  They looked up to him as a role
model for how to pattern *their* career.

We need better education of our students... and that's where
teaching ethics, and having *good* morale leaders, is at least a

>The only process which DOES HAPPEN however, regardless
>of all our discussions and views, is that for people
>'out there' (general public) there is quickly going
>errosion of the public image of science and loss of
>respect to scientists as social category. There are
>many signs for is which I omit for length reasons.
>Is is good, bad, or whatever, I leave to each one
>to decide on the own.

Most certainly... it's been going on for a while now.

As one person in the media put it... scientists are becoming as
believable as used car salesmen these days!  At that's a view from
the outside!

Whether this is indeed good or bad... I don't know?  A friend of
mine thinks it is good.  For she believes science will have to be
taken down a number of notches in order for it to get built back up
to something truly better.

Oh well.


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