Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Echidne Volunteers for Kevin Drum

Kevin is looking for people willing to criticize science:
In any case, think of it as after-the-fact peer review with an attitude. The winning candidate for this position will have a pretty good mathematical background, a sneering contempt for sloppiness, an obsessive attention to detail, a willingness to read mounds of tedious crap, and probably a fairly severe case of insomnia. You'd also need to be really fast, since debunking bullshit a month after every news outlet in the country has hyped it does no one any good. It needs to be debunked the day it hits the streets. (Or praised, of course. We're looking for rigor here, folks.)
He also points out that this endeavor does not pay!

Well, I have been doing quite a bit of that type of work over the centuries on this here blog, mostly on gender studies and evolutionary psychology but also on some types of medical studies.

And that gives me the experience to suggest that money for the work might not be a bad idea. But there are, indeed, proper blogs (not mine which is an improper blog) focused on criticizing research. The problem is with the mainstream summaries of research, based on whatever would cause the most fervor and clicks. That's where we need a more careful eye and a tightly pressed set of angry lips and so on.