#onsci in July: Trust and peer review

Kristin & Heather: The next #onsci twitter chat is on this Thursday, 21st of July, 9pm AEST (Sydney)

After a break in June due to ‘I’m a Scientist, get me out of here!’ and other general busyness, #onsci returns with a look at issues of trust in scientists and how peer review may (or may not) have a role.

Scientists come in 15th on the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Professions list  just above bus drivers, hairdressers and judges and way above politicians, but in recent times we have seen rather dramatic attacks on scientists and their work. Have scientists lost the trust of the broader community? If so, why did it go? Can we get it back again?

Often scientists use the existence of peer review as a demonstration that they and their work should be trusted. Is peer review of published work really a measure of the trustworthyness of a scientist? Do we as scientists and science communicators have an obligation to only communicate science that has been peer reviewed? Should we communicate more about the peer review process? And how do we deal with that science which has been published in peer reviewed journals but which the scientific community agrees is not ‘good science’?

These are just some of the questions that have occurred to us when thinking about this topic. If you have others please add them here or tweet us and we’ll try and work them into the chat.

And thanks for continuing to use the #onsci hashtag for thoughts and links that are relevant to our community. There have been some great topic suggestions too (this one was in part thanks to @dr_krystal). Keep them rolling in and we’ll use them for our future chats. Follow @onsci for details.

Look forward to seeing you on Thursday night!

Comments

  1. sarahkeenihan says:

    Storify collation of this chat session is now available here: http://storify.com/sciencesarah/onsci-chat-21-july-2011

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