How does the anonymity of a peer reviewer enforce conformity, enable plagiarism, etc.? You have lost me there.
That's what several academic scientists told me, especially Peter Hagelstein. It should be clear how it enforces conformity. Plagiarism by senior scientists is widespread because they are often chosen as anonymous reviewers. They reject a paper, steal the idea, and later publish the results themselves, taking credit for them. Two scientists told me that happened to them when they were young nobodies. Here is a well known example of this in cold fusion. In 1989, many distinguished scientists published vicious attacks against F&P, sometimes calling for their arrest and imprisonment for fraud. At the same time, some of those scientists were quietly applying to EPRI for funding to do their own cold fusion experiments. In other words, they were hoping to sabotage F&P and others, and then grab credit for the research themselves. That's according to Tom Passell, who was the cold fusion project manager EPRI.
Academic science is corrupt to the core. Academic science is ridden with lying, cheating, knife-in-the-back betrayal, politics, plagiarism and publishing fake data. I think the main reasons are:
- No one checks the work. People assume it is right. Experiments are seldom replicated. Most academic research is put aside and forgotten, because most of it is inconsequential. So it is easy to cheat. Programmers and engineers are as likely to be jerks as scientists, but they cannot get away with making programs that do not work. The customers won't buy them. The marketplace enforces a level of honesty and forces them to work hard, whether it is their nature or not.
- As Woodrow Wilson put it, academic politics are vicious because the stakes are so low. They have nothing better to do than argue about things like priority. (Wilson was the president of Princeton U. before becoming the U.S. president.)
- It is all about ego, money and power. Nothing else counts. They don't have to worry about making a living, or satisfying customers, or shipping a product on time. As one scientist put it soon after F&P announced cold fusion: "Why would I bother to replicate that? It would just mean Fleischmann and Pons get a Nobel. There is nothing in it for me." The fact that it is scientifically important and it might prevent global warming and save millions of lives meant nothing to that professor. It means nothing to Robert Park and the other opponents. They couldn't care less about the truth, or progress, the scientific method, or the other things they pay lip service to. They care only about their own prestige, their own egos, and their funding. And their parking space outside the lab.
It is no wonder people are suspicious of global warming climatologists. I am not suspicious of them. On the other hand, I know in great detail how the academic scientists opposed to cold fusion ran roughshod over the researchers, and betrayed every supposed principle of science, not to mention logic, decency and probably several laws.