Weekend reads: A wake-up call?; paper’s author accused of racism; an editor resigns over personal attacks

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The week at Retraction Watch featured:

Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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4 thoughts on “Weekend reads: A wake-up call?; paper’s author accused of racism; an editor resigns over personal attacks”

  1. “Fifty-four scientists have lost their jobs as a result of NIH probe into foreign ties.” Is there a good reason to keep their names a secret? Serious question.

  2. I don’t understand what is wrong with the South African UCT paper. All it did was try to figure out some reasons why black people are not interested in conservation studies. The intent was to try and figure out ways to attract more black students.

    It acknowledges socioeconomic issues right away and at the end says that much of the variance was left unexplained. I read the associated black academic caucus statement and wasn’t sure what they were complaining about. It was supposed to be just a starting point.

    Does anyone here understand? Is it racist to say that poor people don’t want to be poor?

    1. It depends if you are on the side of Cultural Revolution or not. If you are, you can say anything you want… until you are made counter revolutionaire…

      Plot the median income between European ancestry people income in US. You would find staggering difference between Albanians and Swedish for example. Now replace the ancestry with races and show to anyone else and ask: evidence of racism…?

    2. I think part of the complaint is that it’s a fairly sloppy study that can easily have items taken out of context.

      For instance, I’m not fully across what the Fallist protests actually were about and mean within South Africa, but its very easy for “Black South Africans don’t care about the environment and only want money” to take on a life of its own as a comment, despite the recognised issues in the paper.

      A convenience sample of n=211 UCT students that they study says is unrepresentative yet still draws broader conclusions from is an issue, as is the apparent double-barrelled items (e.g. “conservation biology [is] colonial AND should be scrapped”).

      This analysis probably wasn’t strong enough to publish two mere pages on and required a much more robust study and commentary to back up any started findings.

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