Can peer-review be saved by private businesses? by Calum Kennedy

The peer-review process is meant to be a guardian of scientific integrity. That is not to say that it maintains the integrity of individual scientists, but that it attempts to ensure that results of these scientists’ intellectual endeavours are presented and discussed in a way that conforms to the ideals of the scientific community as a whole. Ideally, this means that the papers published in journals contribute positively towards scientific debates rather than being mistakes, distractions, or unhelpful repetition. Continue reading

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Wake up and smell the kerosene. By Andrew Howard

Plane

A plane flying over Yosemite national park by Kristal Leonard (https://www.flickr.com/photos/isntthatbeautiful/8197899031/)

Flying, it’s sort of amazing. You literally ‘fly’ – think about that; FLY. No road, no rail, no water, not even any strings holding it up like a Thunderbirds rocket – just a tin box hurling through thin air at 500 miles per hour at several thousand feet. But we don’t even fly for that phenomenal experience, we do it out of convenience. Flying is a cheap, fast and easy way of getting from A to B
, when B is particularly far away, and land or sea travel would take too long. Most of the time it’s actually far far cheaper than land or sea travel as well. We all do it, and it enables us to meet people and see places that we would not otherwise see. For instance, I really want to go to Stockholm, and I could go this Friday and be back on Sunday night for £90 with no prior booking. The flight takes 2 hours from London. Ninety pounds, to disappear above the clouds and magically descend in Sweden for the weekend. Continue reading