Weekend reads: Is nutrition science the worst-performing science?; gender bias in peer review; the Sherlock Holmes of science fraud

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The week at Retraction Watch featured:

Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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One thought on “Weekend reads: Is nutrition science the worst-performing science?; gender bias in peer review; the Sherlock Holmes of science fraud”

  1. The claim that DL Rosenhan was a liar who altered data in his seminal study on psychiatric misdiagnosis (Science 179:250-8,1973) deserves some response, since the author himself died in 2012. The attack on Rosenhan quoted here is by Susannah Cahalan and is published in that well known scientific journal The New York Post.
    Cahalan identified one of the experimental subjects as Rosenhan himself after perusal of his private papers. She also spent much time and effort to identify the other seven subjects, but was only able to find one – which seems to be an important argument in her analysis.
    In his paper, Rosenhan writes of the subjects “…One was a psychology graduate student in his 20’s. The remaining seven were older and “established” …..” Maybe, like Rosenhan, the other six subjects have died.
    Ms Calahan fails to note that others have criticized Rosenhan’s paper, but at least one publication claimed to have replicated his result (Lauren Slater, monograph in 2004). Dr RL Spitzer, a doyen of American psychiatry, published a response to Rosenhan (J Abn Psychol 84: 442-52, 1975) in which he fully accepted the results and methods but argued that “(This) study proves that pseudo patients are not detected by psychiatrists as having simulated signs of mental illness. This rather unremarkable finding is not relevant to the real problems of the reliability and validity of psychiatric diagnosis….”

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