Censorship

John Grehan jrg13 at PSU.EDU
Wed Dec 19 21:00:02 CST 2001


At 12:27 PM 12/20/01 +1100, you wrote:
>I'm confused. The other day we heard how only in New Zealand was there
>an unfair bundle of obstacles to John Grehan's  pursuit of
>panbiogeography. Now there seems to have been a world-wide outbreak.

I don't know if I said anything about New Zealand being the 'only' case,
although
its definitely a problematic environment where traditionalists have been
successful
in locking panbiogeography out of funding and publications (which is why most
panbiogeographic publications are in reputable overseas and international
journals -
including some articles that could not get past the censors in New Zealand).


>John, reviewers are entitled to their opinions, wherever they live.

I have no problem with that part.

>You may
>think it's  censorship or a conspiracy to suppress.

When reviewers reject papers because they do not conform to their
individual beliefs rather than demonstrating any fundamental problem with
the scientific quality that's censorship and suppression. For example, I would
not recommend rejection of a dispersalist paper simply because it is
dispersalist,
yet panbiogeography gets rejected by reviewers simply because it does
not conform to accepted beliefs of the reviewers. I did not mention any
'conspiracy'.

>To me at least it looks
>merely ordinary peer review of what is reasonably seen as a sidebar idea
>to the mainstream.

Interesting to see Geoff Read accepts the view that suppression of a paper
based on
rhetorical beliefs qualifies as "ordinary peer review". As for being a
sidebar to the "mainstream'
one might reasonably ask what that has to do with anything? Is it being
said that because
panbiogeography is a 'sidebar' (whatever that's supposed to mean) then its
ok for reviewers
to suppress panbiogeographic publications? And as a 'sidebar'
panbiogeography has remained
at the center of debate on biogeographic methodology, with a number of
prominent non panbiogeographers taking quite a lot of and energyto analyze
and debate its merits (e.g.
Nelson, Platnick, Seberg, Humphries, Cox). Also the assertion that
panbiogeography is a
'sidebar' may be seen as some kind of (presumably unintended) insult in
those circles where panbiogeography figures quite prominently (e.g. Latin
America).

John Grehan


>Cheers,
>
>
>--
>   Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>
>   http://www.annelida.net/




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