Feb. 1st, 2010

The News

Feb. 1st, 2010 11:47 pm
archaesophilia: (Default)
Reading the BBC website today for news I came upon two noteworthy articles.

The first one concerns China's reaction to the possibility of a meeting between the Dali Lama and President Obama. The language used by the Chinese government is very strong, threatening even. One wonders, just how far is the US willing to go in order to bring together two of the most well spoken world leaders on the planet today? The thought is sobering. I hope that the US government has more balls than to capitulate.

Second, more than a baker's dozen of renowned stem cell researchers have accused scholarly journals of letting biased reviewers block key new research. When I read the title, I will admit that I at first expected that the article would be about some religious objection getting into the system. It wasn't. It was about the decidedly poisonous politics that are part of that field. Being from a social science back ground, I don't understand this. But then again, our grants don't have quite so many zeroes in them, either.

My problem with it is that academics are supposed to welcome advances, supposed to let their science be above their petty politicking. It is ridiculous that we haven't self policed better. It also drives home the point that academic journals are no longer run for the benefit of science, but for the benefit of profit (and there is little of that). We may need to alter the schema of the system a little.

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