All that glitters is not peer reviewed gold

Lancet, said to be the oldest, best known and most respected journal in medicine, has retracted an article alleging that MMR vaccinations caused autism and bowel disease.

The 1998 article caused thousands of parents throughout the United States and Britain to forego the vaccinations for their children, and there was a resurgence in measles.

Subsequent studies have found no link between the vaccinations and the side effects alleged in the article, according to the BBC. Recently, the General Medical Council found that lead researcher Dr. Andrew Wakefield had acted dishonestly. He could lose his medical license.

"We fully retract this paper from the published record," Lancet said.

The Lancet is a peer-reviewed journal.

Global warming alarmists insist that peer review is "the gold standard" and that publication in a peer-reviewed journal puts any research supporting manmade global warming above question or reproach.

Yet, as emails found in the Climategate scandal have shown, alarmists scheme to keep research that questions manmade global warming out of the peer-reviewed journals, and even talk of "redefining" the term peer review if necessary. At stake for alarmists is more than their reputation. It means billions of dollars in grants for research.

Recently it has been learned that the alarmists were wrong about glaciers melting in the Himalayas, that there are more polar bears now than in 1950, and that data from stations in Siberia was ignored in collecting worldwide temperatures.

Even a writer for the left-wing Guardian, who has written a book that made alarmists swoon with delight, is questioning alarmism now.

Thus, the question arises from the Lancet incident: Is peer review actually the gold standard, when the research was dead wrong in this case?

Lloyd Brown is a retired editorial page editor and occasional blogger.
Lancet, said to be the oldest, best known and most respected journal in medicine, has retracted an article alleging that MMR vaccinations caused autism and bowel disease.

The 1998 article caused thousands of parents throughout the United States and Britain to forego the vaccinations for their children, and there was a resurgence in measles.

Subsequent studies have found no link between the vaccinations and the side effects alleged in the article, according to the BBC. Recently, the General Medical Council found that lead researcher Dr. Andrew Wakefield had acted dishonestly. He could lose his medical license.

"We fully retract this paper from the published record," Lancet said.

The Lancet is a peer-reviewed journal.

Global warming alarmists insist that peer review is "the gold standard" and that publication in a peer-reviewed journal puts any research supporting manmade global warming above question or reproach.

Yet, as emails found in the Climategate scandal have shown, alarmists scheme to keep research that questions manmade global warming out of the peer-reviewed journals, and even talk of "redefining" the term peer review if necessary. At stake for alarmists is more than their reputation. It means billions of dollars in grants for research.

Recently it has been learned that the alarmists were wrong about glaciers melting in the Himalayas, that there are more polar bears now than in 1950, and that data from stations in Siberia was ignored in collecting worldwide temperatures.

Even a writer for the left-wing Guardian, who has written a book that made alarmists swoon with delight, is questioning alarmism now.

Thus, the question arises from the Lancet incident: Is peer review actually the gold standard, when the research was dead wrong in this case?

Lloyd Brown is a retired editorial page editor and occasional blogger.