In the wake of the Pusztai affair, the Royal Society and other pundits insisted that it is peer review that confers legitimacy on scientific claims and that any premature public mention of research results prior to peer review constituted an outrage.
Many have been taken in by this supposed invocation of scientific rectitude. The problem with it is, however, that it bears no actual relation to standard practice where, for example, new results are routinely presented at science conferences, often covered by the media, before they have been subjected to peer review and published. Peer review is NOT and never has been a precondition for research being brought to the attention of the public.
This is why Prof Joe Cummins says below that the Royal Society and their science establishment imitators are a "gaggle of pompous frauds".
Pusztai, of course, continued to be flak-attacked even when he did achieve peer-reviewed publication and prior to that he had to endure comments like "grandstanding does not answer scientific questions" and "show me the data!".
Recently, there has been hyping of comments by Prof. Sears of Guelph University to the effect that he and other researchers have found that the monarch butterfly is not harmed by "pollen grains from the current commercial varieties of corn".
Sears, needless to say, has run into no flak over the fact that, as Prof Cummins points out, the research in question is very far from being peer-reviewed.
On 13 Feb 2001, at 12:17, jcummins wrote:
Today another list posted an article quoting Prof. Sears of Guelph University
" We're currently writing our manuscripts and trying to work out the details amongst us. It's a group effort. We essentially have several papers on different phases of our study that we all collaborated on. Hopefully we'll get the manuscript finished this month and submitted as soon as we can in hopes of getting publication this spring.''
Most readers will recollect the fire storm of violent criticisms of the comments of Arpad Pusztai about his unpublished research. A gaggle of pompous frauds from the science establishment tried to make it look as if commenting on unpublished work was a mortal science sin and the worst kind of science. In reality it is the duplicity of those critics that comes through when they applaud the offhand comments of members of their clique.
"I don't think any of us would disagree that, if an alternative exists to a GE solution, it's to be preferred" - Mr Hodson QC acting for the Life Sciences Network at the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, New Zealand, 8th Feb 2001
"We already know today that most of the problems that are to be
addressed via Golden Rice and other GMOs can be resolved in matter of days, with the right political will." - Hans Herren, winner of the World Food Prize 1995