Under the Microscope

One of the cornerstones of science is under fire.

Heresy should be encouraged because that’s how breakthroughs happen.”

We often like to think we live in an age of reason. The fruits of modern science and technology are all around us: from smartphones and 3D printers to cures for some of history's most devastating diseases. We now have the highest life-expectancy our species has ever experience. Despite all this, a backlash seems to be emerging against certain aspects of science. Lately the revered process of peer review has been coming under fire – especially in the field of medical science. A recent piece in The Economist even argued that the internet means anyone can now appoint themselves a peer, thereby providing a challenge to the perceived power held by scientists.

In this forthright interview, cosmologist Carlos Frenk examines in detail one of the cornerstones of contemporary scientific process. He argues that peer review actually encoura

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