Well, yes, obviously

In both papers, which were not peer-reviewed
“As the authors of the working papers –

Well, quite. That’s what working papers are. Papers before they’ve been peer reviewed.

The row has been taken up by others. A group of doctors recently declared on the BMJ website that “both of these papers are flawed in conception as well as design, but have none the less been widely publicised as cautionary tales”. Diethelm’s letter calls on the university to take the papers down from its website. “We ask the University of Zurich to retract them because they are erroneous beyond repair and because … they interfere with the public health policy of other countries… ”

But that’s not how it works. You’ve shown that the papers are nonsense? Good for you then, publish away. But you don’t get to call or their paper to be washed out of existence: your refutation should stand on the excellence with which you have refuted them.

4 thoughts on “Well, yes, obviously”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Has anyone shown the papers are nonsense? Someone has claimed seven errors, but they have not been peer reviewed either. Nor is the complainant a scientist. The letter to the BMJ does not attack the science so much as the mere fact that Phillip Morris provided funding.

    What is the complaint here? That PMI was allowed to *look* at research they funded?

    WTF? Some people need to realise that 1984 was a warning. Not a handbook.

  2. I thought the tobacco giants were all in favour of plain packs, advertising bans and so on. Anything that increases sales and prevents competitors getting their message out must be good.

  3. Plain packs kills their branding, so how can cigarette companies charge more for some brands? They can’t, which is their issue with it.

    Funny how pharma funded ‘research’ trashing e-cigs is fine with Public Health. E-cigs will save countless lives but as they are more effective than shitty patches, they have to go, and that’s fine with Public Health.

  4. Anyway, peer review is mostly bollocks anyway. If your peers are rabid nutters like yourself what exactly is the point of it?

    If two alchemists peer-reviewed a paper on Alchemy, does that make it valid?

    The only true “peer-review” is publishing everything – the data and methodology. If it survives public scrutiny, it is valid.

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