Sunday, April 14, 2013

Recent News on Antiscience Antics from Around the Web

Solar Neutrinos
Stuart Robbins did an excellent podcast on the solar neutrino problem.  While his focus was primarily on how creationists have used (and some continue to use) this claim, much of this information applies to Electric Sun claims as well.  Electric Sun supporters have been manufacturing all kinds of bizarre excuses of how the modern experiments on  Earth demonstrating that neutrinos oscillate (and therefore solve the solar neutrino 'shortage') must be wrong.

More Young Blood Joining the Battle…
Zack Kopplin is a 19 year old sophmore at Rice University, Texas.  He has been gaining a lot of attention in a battle for good science.  He runs two websites, one devoted to Repealing the Louisiana Science Education Act.  The original 'science' act makes it easy for teachers to introduce creationism into science classes.  The other, Say No To Creationist Vouchers, is working to stop taxpayer-funded education vouchers being used for religious schools teaching creationism.
Fake Scientific Journals
I recently received an email through one of my work accounts advertising a new professional journal, claiming to be 'open access'.  Browsing the home site of the journal, I checked the titles and authors of some of the recent papers published in astronomy and physics.  A few of the authors I saw published were familiar from their history of somewhat questionable quality papers.

In the same week, there was a good post on SlashDot summarizing some of the problems of fake journals.  There are some publications, calling themselves scientific journals, where the primary condition for 'passing peer review' is if the author's check clears.  One emphasis in the discussion was this growth was actually an unintended consequence of the 'open access' movement in science publication.  Slashdot: Fake Academic Journals Are a Very Real Problem.

The article mentions the work of Jeffrey Beall, who maintains the site Scholarly Open Access, monitoring some of the activity in this new option for scientific publishing.  He maintains a list of journals with policies and procedures that are questionable at best

Nereid and myself collaborated on a number of posts pointing out some rather severe peer-review failures at Bentham Open Astronomy Journal (BOAJ) surrounding a bunch of papers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) promoting Electric Universe claims.   While there had been a comment that the journal had shut down,  their publication frequency has significantly decreased, they still appear to be in operation.

No comments: