Why science is going down the drain? It’s the bizarre science politics, it’s the crooked journals. A rather extreme example of it is below.
PLOS-One has published a paper by D.R. Grimes (Oxford) debunking all “conspiracy theories” at once, all of them. He says that a conspiracy theory with the alleged large number of conspirators cannot be true because if it were true, some of the conspirators would come forward, “leak” the information and “expose” the conspiracy. He, moreover, gives statistical calculations showing how many years a real conspiracy can survive without a “scandal”. Therefore, he says, conspiracy theories do not describe real conspiracies, but are just crap.
I wrote my comment on the Grimes paper saying that the paper is wrong. I said, there is no such sure mechanism that will make “a leak” into a scandal, unless mass media decides to make that scandal. I said that corruption in mass media prevents scandals and I gave my experience with Nature magazine (posted at http://www.universitytorontofraud.com/nature.html).
My comment lived only a few hours, and was removed. I received no email explaining the reasons. Moreover, my communications with the journal were electronically cut off, I cannot write to them either.
The journal published another comment that repeated my argument. This comment is titled:
“Between the exposure and the scandal stands the media declaring what we are expected to believe.”
My words in the removed comment were:
“Between the “exposure” and the “scandal” stands the media declaring what should be believed and what should not.”
Here is my comment, a screen shot: https://pyshnov.wordpress.com/plosmycomment/
Here is the URL of the new comment: http://www.plosone.org/annotation/listThread.action?root=88147
My comment was at http://www.plosone.org/annotation/listThread.action?root=88138
Before it was removed, it was seen, according to my stat. counter, by 10 people.
The text of the two comments is very different: my comment goes to the real tragedy that hit the world of science, while the new comment avoids this. PlOS would not allow publishing the true causes and concrete examples of corruption in science. PLOS journal is a part of this corruption, probably the worst part of it.
Meanwhile, still another comment has revealed that the mathematical part of the Grimes paper is wrong (http://www.plosone.org/annotation/listThread.action?root=88142). Interestingly, the Grimes paper is receiving great attention and praise around the world.Will PLOS retract the paper? I don’t think so.
This scam reminds me of the old and forgotten stories from Balkan countries about the tricks of the gypsies or jewish prostitutes. Only this now is a multi-million dollars operation.
Interestingly, the PLOS journal was founded by some members of the London based charity – COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), of which I wrote several years ago (http://www.universitytorontofraud.com/committee.htm). The COPE style was also shockingly deceitful and unprofessional, but for some reason this charitable organisation gained control over 5000 of scientific journals, issuing their Code on publication ethics and collecting the fees from these journals for COPE services. This was when they had no scientists on their board.
How serious is all this? I don’t think it is serious at all. True, money changed hands, the world received a new “proof” that conspiracy theories are wrong which can be exploited by those who wish to exploit it. Science made a small step farther down the drain. And the gypsies are ready for their new adventures.