Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Science is Settled: Peer-Review Journal Publishes Paper by 8-Year-Olds

I'm not sure if this makes the kids look good or actual trained scientists look bad. Seriously, though, an actual peer-reviewed journal is publishing material from little kids now? I recall back during Climate-gate the words "peer-reviewed" were supposed to stop all debate, as any purported science that went through peer-review was supposed to be impeccable and the "science" behind it was not to be challenged.
A science journal from Britain's prestigious Royal Society has published a study conducted and written by 8-year-old students.

The children from an English elementary school investigated the way bumblebees see colors and patterns, based on fieldwork in a local churchyard. The scientific organization says the children's school science project reported findings that were a "genuine advance" in the field of insect color and pattern vision.

Scientists who commented on the kids' report in the journal say although the experiments were modest and lack statistical analyses, they hold their own compared to those conducted by trained specialists.
So how on earth can a study lack statistical analysis and make it through peer review?

More here.

I'm all for kids conducting experiments and becoming involved in scientific fields. What I don't support is publishing something like this and claiming it's legitimately undergone peer review. Who were their peers? Second-graders?

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