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climate change science peer review

At the heart of science research is the scientific peer review process. Peer review is a quality-control system that requires all new scientific discoveries and research to be scrutinized and critiqued by expert scientists before they become widely accepted. Peer review has been around for hundreds of years.

When a team of peer reviewers gives a thumbs-up to a particular science research paper, they are saying that the science is significant, valid and trustworthy. The validation of scientific results seems to benefit society. Yet there are many scientists who are starting to question the peer review process stating that the negative aspects of peer review far outweigh its benefits. In How Peer Review Works:

Some critics argue that peer review slows down advances in scientific and medical knowledge…that peer review leads to the suppression of some scientists’ results. Editor: Rolly Montpellier-BoomerWarrior


The Good and the Bad of Climate Change Science Peer-Review

Nobody is disputing the importance of the peer review process. In fact I read about 100 peer reviewed papers per month in addition to many more abstracts.

However, with rapidly accelerating climate change and extreme weather, the year or so that it takes between paper submission and publication is far too long. Thus, many scientists will blog their new findings when they occur, or publish them in open access journals with a very rapid turn-over time.

Also, peer review science is traditionally about narrowing the focus of study to make an incremental novel addition to the existing knowledge. This fails to meet humanity”s need for knowledge on the climate system as a whole. It leads to compartmentalization of knowledge, with many niche experts in narrow areas, who fail to understand the overall system and it’s evolution through time.

What I do is research the overall system. Of course, examining the overall system does not fit into the traditional hierarchy of study, which is of more specialization rather than an overall view.

It is difficult to have time to do both, given the present angular velocity of Earth rotation.

In this recent video, Paul talks about Science Under Siege.


Paul Beckwith has recently been recognized as the number 14 top influencer active on Twitter in Climate Science & Forecast, the Carbon Economy, Emissions, Clean, Green & Renewable Energy, Generation and Efficiency by SustMeme Climate Change & Energy.

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