Category Archives: science journals behaving badly

The Washington Post refuses to correct scientific errors

Two days ago I analyzed an article about hybrid parrots that had just appeared in the Washington Post. It was grossly misleading in assuming that two parrots of different “species” (they weren’t—one was a hybrid) had mated and produced, lo, a parrot of another “new species” (also wrong). I tweeted my correction to the Washington […]

Former Scientific American editor, writing in the magazine, suggests that science may find evidence for God using telescopes and other instruments

I was quite appalled to see this new op-ed in Scientific American in which former contributing editor Mark Alpert trots out all the Great Unknowns of Science to answer his title question with a big “NO!”. God is still viable! Now the magazine does give a caveat at the end: “The views expressed are those of […]

Op-ed in science journal Nature disses science and “scientism”, questions Enlightenment values

Nathaniel Comfort, author of the risible Nature essay at hand (click on screenshot below), is a professor in the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. We’ve met him three times before on this site; he seems to be a postmodernist who dislikes genes, New Atheism, and Richard Dawkins.  Now he’s written about. . . . […]

Another ripoff journal and science publisher

So I need this article for my upcoming lectures on Antarctic biology. Sadly, the journal (Current Protein and Peptide Science) isn’t in our university’s e-library, so I have to either buy it (see below) or request it via Interlibrary loan. I will of course do the latter, so readers needn’t send it to me, and […]

Dong-ta-ra-con-ching! An insane paper, accepted by a Springer-Verlag journal, is now retracted

Reader Jonathan called my attention to post on the website Symptoms of the Universe by a physicist named Philip Moriarty. It points out what may be the craziest paper ever accepted by a decent mainstream science journal—at least in the last few decades. (I’m assuming that the journal Parasitology Research is reputable, though I may […]

Study published in Science isn’t replicated; journal refuses to publish the failure to replicate

Posting will probably be lighter than usual (even during my travels) over the next ten days, as I’m weary of arising at 4:30 to write posts, and, more important, I’m off to the Big Island soon for traveling and snorkeling. I’ll try to keep the Hili dialogues going, although it’s tough without Grania, but bear […]

Railing about rails again: No, Science, it’s NOT THE SAME SPECIES!

UPDATE: Science has now corrected its post by issuing the addendum below.  As you’ll see in the comments below, author Alex Fox credits this post for the correction, which is gentlemanly of him. Thanks to reader Barry for the spot. *************** It is a truth universally acknowledged that the two most prestigious science journals in […]

The publisher Springer tries to stiff me

There’s not much news today except for what you already know: Trump is imposing ridiculous tariffs on China, which will, contrary to his stupid claim, cost U.S. citizens more. Tariffs are never a good idea. And Doris Day died.  The big news from Chicago is that all ten of my ducklings are still alive and […]

Railing about rails: new paper on flightless birds is grossly misreported and distorted by the popular media

Note: If you can’t access the paper, judicious inquiry might yield you a copy. __________ Many readers called my attention to new paper in the Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society (click on the title screenshot below, and see the pdf here), reporting on a case of convergent evolution— two independent cases of evolution producing […]

The Great Science Publishing Scandal

by Matthew Cobb Earlier this week, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a programme I made, along with producer Deborah Cohen, about how scientific publishing works, the problems associated with it, and why everyone should be concerned about it. Click on this picture and you will be able to listen to the programme from anywhere in the […]