04 March 2011

Retracting Daubert

Jane Ruby as Frida Kahlo
I've posted about Daubert, the persuasive American decision regarding the admissibility of scientific evidence, on numerous occassions.

Here is the relevant passage,
"Faced with a proffer of expert scientific testimony ..., the trial judge, ..., must make a preliminary assessment of whether the testimony's underlying reasoning or methodology is scientifically valid and properly can be applied to the facts at issue. Many considerations will bear on the inquiry, including whether the theory or technique in question can be (and has been) tested, whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication, its known or potential error rate, and the existence and maintenance of standards controlling its operation, and whether it has attracted widespread acceptance within a relevant scientific community. The inquiry is a flexible one, and its focus must be solely on principles and methodology, not on the conclusions that they generate."
The part I want to criticise is,
"whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication,".

As more and more peer review papers are being found to be, at best, wrong by groups such as Retraction Watch; a mockery is made of this Daubert criterion. Expect to see this challenged in the courts.

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