November 29, 2009

Help, help, I'm being repressed

With all this talk of "attempts to suppress dissenting scientists’ research and other questionable data fabrication,"* now is a good time to recall the "Sternberg peer review controversy":
The paper by Stephen C. Meyer,** "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," in vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239 of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, was published at the discretion of the former editor, Richard V. Sternberg. Contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without review by any associate editor; Sternberg handled the entire review process. The Council, which includes officers, elected councilors, and past presidents, and the associate editors would have deemed the paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings because the subject matter represents such a significant departure from the nearly purely systematic content for which this journal has been known throughout its 122-year history.
Sternberg pulled a Dick Cheney:
As managing editor it was my prerogative to choose the editor who would work directly on the paper, and as I was best qualified among the editors I chose myself.
A film released in April 2008 featuring Ben Stein, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, discusses the Sternberg controversy, but misrepresents several key facts.
You don't say. Ben Stein & Co. probably thought that misrepresenting misrepresentations would make them true.

Wikipedia: Sternberg peer review controversy.

* Mr. Jim Ott (R-Mequon) needs to support this accusation.
** I have an e-mail from Stephen Meyer dated 1905.

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