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View Poll Results: What's Peter Boghossian going to do now?
Get a job at another university because he is an academic who cares about teaching 3 11.11%
Start his own podcast about the Culture Wars 6 22.22%
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Old 15th November 2021, 05:43 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Why are editors and peer reviewers exempt from IRB consideration?
Perhaps because weeding out crank submissions is literally part of the job they signed up to do.
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Old 15th November 2021, 06:15 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Perhaps because weeding out crank submissions is literally part of the job they signed up to do.
Not really. Many peer reviewers are volunteers and "crank submissions" is probably not what they usually get. They may get a lot of bad amateur papers from writers who are new to writing academic papers and often peer reviewers try to be charitable and helpful even with papers that are really, really bad.

Boghossian, Lindsay and Pluckrose were taking the piss, and even gleefully mocked the comments that were written in good faith from reviewers of the papers that were rejected.

If they had wanted to do a serious study in which the put the peer review process to the test, then that would probably have been fine. But in order to do it, they should really come up with some useful design methodology that itself can be assessed by their peers. But, as I say, they would probably be expected to get IRB oversight, which Boghossian, as a faculty member of a university failed to do.

Remember, they also decided to just make up data and put them in the paper.

B, L and P seem to find the idea that they were able to knock off 20 papers in two years, while most academics may only get one or two publications in that time as some kind of metric proving the lack of worth of their target disciplines. But that is meaningless unless they acknowledge how much easier it is to write something that doesn't actually require any real data collection or careful analysis because it is simply made up.

If that's the case, you could probably simply make up a paper and get it published in medical journals (as we have seen happening with the Ivermectin fraud).
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Old 15th November 2021, 06:36 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Why are editors and peer reviewers exempt from IRB consideration?

The problem here is that they attempted to make this a "study". If they were simply writing some kind of expose, maybe they would have been okay, but if your "research" involves deliberately deceiving editors and peer reviewers, wasting their time and then holding them up for mockery afterwards, you cannot be surprised if an IRB frowns on that.
I don't think the IRB frowned on it. The problem isn't that the they didn't approve of his research, it's that he didn't submit it for review by the human subjects review board. I think he just legitimately didn't think it was subject to their review as he didn't see himself as experimenting on human subjects.

Personally I actually agree with that. Submitting papers for review by reviewers doesn't seem like human experimentation to me.
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Old 15th November 2021, 07:46 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I don't think the IRB frowned on it. The problem isn't that the they didn't approve of his research, it's that he didn't submit it for review by the human subjects review board. I think he just legitimately didn't think it was subject to their review as he didn't see himself as experimenting on human subjects.

Personally I actually agree with that. Submitting papers for review by reviewers doesn't seem like human experimentation to me.
Ordinarily, no. But in this case, they claimed it was their research, and the university apparently agreed. In which case it needed approval even if only applying for exemption.

From what I can see, there weren't any harsh punishments meted out, and really it ends up looking silly on their part that while they had a lot of fun LOLing at the stoopid "grievance study" journals which likes to promote some absurd idea that there are disadvantaged groups who have faced some form of individual or systemic oppression, Boghossian and his buddies end up being the ones whining about their own grievances and systemic oppression.

Do they not see the irony in their overdramatic claims of being oppressed while systematically denying anyone else at all suffers oppression?

The anti-woke cult literally boils down to two things:

1.) Endlessly complaining about traditionally marginalized groups.

2.) Claiming that they are the real victims!

They talk about NOTHING else!
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Old 15th November 2021, 09:41 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Do they not see the irony in their overdramatic claims of being oppressed while systematically denying anyone else at all suffers oppression?
Show us where they deny that anyone else at all suffers oppression.
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Old 16th November 2021, 05:01 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
Show us where they deny that anyone else at all suffers oppression.
Sorry, my poor choice of wording. I meant that they deny systemic oppression, or rather lampoon it when it comes to other groups, and refer to areas that study systemic oppression as "grievance studies", and those that rail against systemic oppression as "social justice warriors" or "woke".

Here is James Lindsay, in his "New Discourses" website:

Quote:
In order to oppress, a group must hold institutional power in society. In this way, the group is in the position to impose their worldview on others and control the ideas (ideologies), political rules (the technical mechanisms), and social rules for communication (discourses) that we are all taught (socialized) to see as normal, natural, and required for a functioning society. This domination is historical (long-term), automatic, and normalized.

Power in the context of understanding social justice refers to the ideological, technical, and discursive elements by which those in authority impose their ideas and interests on everyone.
Link

What seems to me to be ironic is how they claim to be revealing the intellectual bankruptcy of "greivance studies" while engaging in literally the same claims of being an oppressed class.

They claim systemic oppression for themselves, but regard anyone else saying this as "social justice warriors" when it relates to race or gender or sexuality or obesity, apparently.

Quote:
Something has gone wrong in the university—especially in certain fields within the humanities. Scholarship based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances has become firmly established, if not fully dominant, within these fields, and their scholars increasingly bully students, administrators, and other departments into adhering to their worldview. This worldview is not scientific, and it is not rigorous.
Physician, heal thyself!

What do these anti-woke activitists do apart from air their own social grievances?

When was the last time Peter Boghossian actually submitted some proper work to an academic journal, a good journal, and managed to get it published?

When was the last time James Lindsay did some maths? As far as I can see, he spends almost all the time on Twitter whining about the wokesters.

And in what way could the "grievance studies" hoax be considered rigorous or scientific?

Quote:
As a result of this work, we have come to call these fields “grievance studies” in shorthand because of their common goal of problematizing aspects of culture in minute detail in order to attempt diagnoses of power imbalances and oppression rooted in identity.
That seems to be literally what New Discourses is doing.

The whole University of Austin is just one big claim that their freedoms have been taken away by the systemic oppression of higher education.

Quote:
On our quads, faculty are being treated like thought criminals. Dorian Abbot, a University of Chicago scientist who has objected to aspects of affirmative action, was recently disinvited from delivering a prominent public lecture on planetary climate at MIT. Peter Boghossian, a philosophy professor at Portland State University, finally quit in September after years of harassment by faculty and administrators. Kathleen Stock, a professor at University of Sussex, just resigned after mobs threatened her over her research on sex and gender.

We had thought such censoriousness was possible only under oppressive regimes in distant lands. But it turns out that fear can become endemic in a free society. It can become most acute in the one place—the university—that is supposed to defend “the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable.”

The reality is that many universities no longer have an incentive to create an environment where intellectual dissent is protected and fashionable opinions are scrutinized. At our most prestigious schools, the primary incentive is to function as finishing school for the national and global elite. Amidst the brick and ivy, these students entertain ever-more-inaccessible theories while often just blocks away their neighbors figure out how to scratch out a living.
Link

Seriously? That last bit in bold is rather cheeky, don't you think? It sounds as though they are trying to smuggle in a claim that what they are concerned with is inequality or poverty, or what some people might call "social justice". But does anyone really think that is what Niall Ferguson, Joe Lonsdale and Bari Weiss care about? Do they ever spill any ink on this?

If they did, maybe they would be setting up some bare bones online courses with a commitment to teaching, and with a long-term goal of eventually setting up a university. Instead, they decide to get the begging bowl out and ask for 200 million dollars!

This is why I think the whole thing is a grift. They are profiteering off a moral panic in which they claim to be victims of systemic oppression all while sneering at anyone else's claims of the same.
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Old 18th November 2021, 11:18 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I don't think the IRB frowned on it. The problem isn't that the they didn't approve of his research, it's that he didn't submit it for review by the human subjects review board. I think he just legitimately didn't think it was subject to their review as he didn't see himself as experimenting on human subjects.

Personally I actually agree with that. Submitting papers for review by reviewers doesn't seem like human experimentation to me.
Speaking as someone who has actually done IRB certification, it does. It absolutely does. One of the first things you are taught when covering it is that the IRB takes a very broad view of what counts as human experimentation, because the harm can and has happened in non-obvious ways. Any experiment which even tangentially involves human subjects needs IRB approval. This experiment directly interacts with human subjects and by its nature cannot fully inform them for their consent, it would need extensive IRB review.
Is that a bit much in this case? Maybe. But when it comes to experimenting on people you simply do not take a laissez faire attitude for what I hope would be obvious reasons.
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Old 18th November 2021, 12:27 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Irony View Post
But when it comes to experimenting on people you simply do not take a laissez faire attitude for what I hope would be obvious reasons.
I confess that it's not obvious to me what sort of harm might befall the reviewers who let the dog park paper through.
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Old 20th November 2021, 12:45 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I confess that it's not obvious to me what sort of harm might befall the reviewers who let the dog park paper through.
OK, but are you comfortable giving researchers free reign to perform human experimentation on the grounds that it seemed safe to them at first glance?
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Old 20th November 2021, 03:46 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Irony View Post
Speaking as someone who has actually done IRB certification, it does. It absolutely does. One of the first things you are taught when covering it is that the IRB takes a very broad view of what counts as human experimentation, because the harm can and has happened in non-obvious ways. Any experiment which even tangentially involves human subjects needs IRB approval. This experiment directly interacts with human subjects and by its nature cannot fully inform them for their consent, it would need extensive IRB review.
Is that a bit much in this case? Maybe. But when it comes to experimenting on people you simply do not take a laissez faire attitude for what I hope would be obvious reasons.
The problem I have here is the rather broad definition of "human subjects". Yes, it's true that submitting papers means that their research interacted with other human beings, but they weren't experimenting on those people.

I do acknowledge that an argument can be made that this is false, that the people to whom those papers were submitted were in some sense subjects of their research. But that seems like far too broad a definition to me.
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Old 20th November 2021, 03:53 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Irony View Post
OK, but are you comfortable giving researchers free reign to perform human experimentation on the grounds that it seemed safe to them at first glance?
I'm happy to narrow the definition of human subject such that the reviewers to whom papers were submitted wouldn't qualify, and as such no IRB review would be necessary for research of the sort that was done here.

I'm not too worried that such a narrow definition will start to let people experiment on AIDS patients while denying them treatment and failing to inform them of their disease, for instance. The line seems clear enough to me.

Personally, it's not clear to me that much good at all came out of Boghossian's work here. I don't think they exposed anything that wasn't already obvious. Partly because the thing they were trying to expose wasn't actually as bad as they think.

But I am concerned that an overly broad definition of human subjects can slow the progress of science without preventing harms that wouldn't have already been prevented by a more narrow definition.
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Old 20th November 2021, 05:20 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
The problem I have here is the rather broad definition of "human subjects". Yes, it's true that submitting papers means that their research interacted with other human beings, but they weren't experimenting on those people.

I do acknowledge that an argument can be made that this is false, that the people to whom those papers were submitted were in some sense subjects of their research. But that seems like far too broad a definition to me.
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I'm happy to narrow the definition of human subject such that the reviewers to whom papers were submitted wouldn't qualify, and as such no IRB review would be necessary for research of the sort that was done here.

I'm not too worried that such a narrow definition will start to let people experiment on AIDS patients while denying them treatment and failing to inform them of their disease, for instance. The line seems clear enough to me.

Personally, it's not clear to me that much good at all came out of Boghossian's work here. I don't think they exposed anything that wasn't already obvious. Partly because the thing they were trying to expose wasn't actually as bad as they think.

But I am concerned that an overly broad definition of human subjects can slow the progress of science without preventing harms that wouldn't have already been prevented by a more narrow definition.
I think things go further than you might realize.

What is often demanded is that everyone involved in research has given informed consent and adequate safe-guards of their confidentiality is provided. Surely in this particular case, the behaviour of the peer reviewers and editors is itself what is being studied. Their peer review comments appear in the magazine articles and in the videos that the researchers made while they shriek with laughter to jaunty background music.

I would think, given their obvious disdain for the people they are interacting with, a university would at least want to have some assurances of the confidentiality of the editors with whom James Lindsay was communicating.
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Old 20th November 2021, 11:17 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Irony View Post
OK, but are you comfortable giving researchers free reign to perform human experimentation on the grounds that it seemed safe to them at first glance?
If by experimentation you mean sending papers to people who volunteered to read them, yes.
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Old 20th November 2021, 05:15 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
If by experimentation you mean sending papers to people who volunteered to read them, yes.
They didn't volunteer to be a participant in a study. That usually requires informed consent rather than deception. If you feel that your study requires deception to be conducted properly then it sounds to me as if it would at least be something that should be cleared by an IRB.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 20th November 2021, 05:49 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
They didn't volunteer to be a participant in a study.
Have we agreed that hoaxing a journal is even sort of analogous to an experimental study?
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Old 20th November 2021, 05:51 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Have we agreed that hoaxing a journal is even sort of analogous to an experimental study?
According to Boghossian et al. It was part of a study. They were even pleased that the university agreed, from what I could see. It was meant to be written up in a proper academic paper from what I recall but was cut short when the hoax was rumbled.
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Old 20th November 2021, 06:02 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
According to Boghossian et al. It was part of a study.
I honestly don't know why they'd call it a study, assuming they really did. There isn't a control group or a treatment group and there cannot be anything other than subjective outcomes.
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Old 20th November 2021, 06:29 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I honestly don't know why they'd call it a study, assuming they really did. There isn't a control group or a treatment group and there cannot be anything other than subjective outcomes.
Oh sure. They received a LOT of flak and criticism for their study methodology which is ironic since they set out to expose how “grievance studies” research lacks scientific rigor, designed to confirm biases and involve the shoddiest peer review procedures.

But just because a study is badly conducted does not mean they get to skirt ethical considerations. Rather it just compounds the issues.
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Old 20th November 2021, 06:46 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
They received a LOT of flak and criticism for their study methodology which is ironic since they set out to expose how “grievance studies” research lacks scientific rigor, designed to confirm biases and involve the shoddiest peer review procedures.
Did they really say "study methodology" about shotgunning out hoax papers? Wow. I'd like to see that.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
But just because a study is badly conducted does not mean they get to skirt ethical considerations.
Ethical considerations usually involve the possibility of harm.
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Old 20th November 2021, 06:50 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Did they really say "study methodology" about shotgunning out hoax papers? Wow. I'd like to see that.
There are a number of statements about their study methodology (some contradictory when defending their study) and in some cases explicit references to their “research”. I will have to have a look later, but let’s start with this one:

Quote:
Part II: Methods

Our approach is best understood as a kind of reflexive ethnography—that is, we conducted a study of a peculiar academic culture by immersing ourselves within it, reflecting its output and modifying our understanding until we became “outsiders within” it.
https://areomagazine.com/2018/10/02/...f-scholarship/
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Old 20th November 2021, 07:10 PM   #101
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If it was ethnography, then according to this website by the American Anthropologists Association, it would require a case-by-case IRB approval.

Quote:
2) Is ethnography subject to review by IRBs?

Ethnographic research is subject to the Common Rule ("Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects", DHHS 45 CFR 46 because it involves "a systematic investigation...designed to develop or contribute to generalizeable knowledge." Although ethnographic research takes place in natural settings and differs significantly from clinical research, ethnographic research projects are subject to review by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure that the participants in the proposed research are not harmed. Because of its complexity, variable contexts, and duration of different ethnographic research projects, ethnographic research should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

3) What are the risks and benefits of ethnographic research?

Review of ethnographic research should be commensurate with the level of risk of harm vs the potential benefits of each specific research project. The review should consider the likelihood or probability of harm, the severity of harm, and the duration of harm. Each project should be examined on its own merit.

Unlike experiments and trials in clinical settings, which have clear beginnings and endings, ethnographic research generally is ongoing, at times sporadic, and takes place in dynamic, natural settings, often where participants are able to decline to participate at any point in the process. Just as in daily life, in these natural settings of research there may be a high probability of risk, but the magnitude of such harm, like uncertainty, mild embarrassment or boredom, is usually low. There are, however, instances where the possible magnitude of harm could be high, often in conflictive environments. IRBs should consider the social and cultural environment of each research project, the physical, psychological and political status of the research participants, and the complex power relationships between researchers and participants in particular situations.
They should have thought this through and submitted it to an IRB if they were conducting an ethnography.
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Old 20th November 2021, 07:26 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
They should have thought this through and submitted it to an IRB if they were conducting an ethnography.
Do you buy their claim that immersing oneself in an academic subculture (other than one's own) counts as ethnography? I find that comparison a bit of a stretch. Thanks for the link to the "study," though.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
If it was ethnography, then according to this website by the American Anthropologists Association, it would require a case-by-case IRB approval.
The risks involved in actual ethnography do not appear to be in play here.
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Old 20th November 2021, 07:31 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Do you buy their claim that immersing oneself in an academic subculture (other than one's own) counts as ethnography? I find that comparison a bit of a stretch. Thanks for the link to the "study," though.

The risks involved in actual ethnography do not appear to be in play here.
You asked me to confirm whether they called what they were doing a study. I showed you they did. That’s answered your question.

Whether they were competent at it is another, irrelevant, question.

As for whether there were harms involved, who knows? If only there were some kind of body - a board, if you will - at Boghossian’s institution, that was designed to review the application for studies to determine whether or not the study met ethical guidelines….
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Old 20th November 2021, 07:45 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
You asked me to confirm whether they called what they were doing a study. I showed you they did. That’s answered your question.
If you don't think it's a study, or an ethnography, it seems a bit odd to say that they'd need to adhere to the usual ethical standards thereof.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
If only there were some kind of body - a board, if you will - at Boghossian’s institution, that was designed to review the application for studies to determine whether or not the study met ethical guidelines…
I'd be surprised if any actual academic institution would approve hoax papers, especially if those papers are intended to expose aspects of their own institution.
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Old 20th November 2021, 08:10 PM   #105
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Alan Sokal on whether Journal Editors should be considered "Human Subjects"

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...common sense suggests that something has gone seriously awry here, when rules initially written to protect subjects in biomedical research from physical harm -- and later extended to social-science research, where the harm could be psychological -- are applied blindly and literally to an "audit study" aimed at testing the intellectual standards of scholarly journals. As Singal observed, "the potential for harm came in the form of reputational damage and humiliation to journal editors and reviewers." But so what?
https://www.insidehighered.com/views...ifferent-types
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Old 20th November 2021, 08:45 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
If you don't think it's a study, or an ethnography, it seems a bit odd to say that they'd need to adhere to the usual ethical standards thereof.
This is flat out false. I didn't deny it was a study or an ethnography. I am pointing out that they claimed it was. You're the one who has been skeptical that they even claimed it was a study or an ethnography. Stop confusing your position for mine.

I just said it wasn't competent. That is different.
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Old 20th November 2021, 08:46 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
This is flat out false.
If statements are false when the if condition holds true but the next part doesn't follow.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I just said it wasn't competent.
Competent compared to what other hoax?
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Old 20th November 2021, 08:47 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Alan Sokal on whether Journal Editors should be considered "Human Subjects"



https://www.insidehighered.com/views...ifferent-types
In the same article by Sokal, he was surprised that IRB experts had a different opinion to him even as he conceded that yes the editors are human.

Quote:
Now Portland State is accusing Boghossian of experimentation on human subjects -- namely, the journal editors and reviewers -- without IRB approval. Moreover, and somewhat surprisingly (at least to me), the IRB experts who spoke with journalist Jesse Singal concurred that the university's interpretation of its IRB rules was very likely correct.

After all, federal regulations define "human subject" as "a living individual about whom an investigator … conducting research obtains … data through intervention or interaction with the individual" -- and the journal editors certainly qualify as such.
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Old 20th November 2021, 08:49 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
If statements are false when the if condition holds true but the next part doesn't follow.
Implying that I didn't say it was a study or an ethnography is what is false.
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Old 20th November 2021, 08:51 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Competent compared to what other hoax?
A competent study. There were no control groups, for example. And they didn't get IRB approval.

Can you please explain what your position is now? It seems to me that you are continuing an argument that you lost several posts ago and think that by continuing it you are creating the illusion that you have a point.

What is your point?
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Old 20th November 2021, 08:53 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
A competent study. There were no control groups, for example. And they didn't get IRB approval.
I don't believe hoaxes are studies, I don't believe they could obtain IRB approval, and I don't believe they should seek to do so for the reasons laid out by Sokal.
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Old 20th November 2021, 11:27 PM   #112
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To argue that reputation damage and humiliation are unimportant considerations seems strange since a lack of protection from those things is the entire reason Boghossian quit and started his own safe space
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Old 20th November 2021, 11:53 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I don't believe hoaxes are studies, I don't believe they could obtain IRB approval, and I don't believe they should seek to do so for the reasons laid out by Sokal.
What you believe is not really relevant particularly since they claimed they did do a study - an ethnography, to be precise.

People doing studies/research involving human subjects typically need to do some rudimentary training to understand how to handle data and protect the anonymity of their subjects. They didn't do this, so Boghossian was reprimanded for this.

Now, Boghossian and his supporters like to claim this reprimand as being part of some motivated attack on him, perhaps as some kind of prelude to getting him fired.

If that were the case it probably would have been easy to get rid of him. There were three charges, and he was cleared of two of them. Apparently he was on a contract that simply could have not been renewed if they had wanted.

Trying to claim that he was unfairly targeted just because he hadn't done a particular training course that other researchers need to do is downright silly.
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Old 21st November 2021, 12:02 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
...I don't believe they could obtain IRB approval...
About this... there was some commentary from around the time...

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A defense that "we would not have gotten IRB approval" is not a good look. It essentially privileges individual judgment over community standards. And we know from experience that such individual judgment can lead to unethical behavior. Standards are not optional.
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Old 21st November 2021, 12:23 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
... I don't believe they should seek to do so for the reasons laid out by Sokal.
It seems to me that that is absolutely not the prevailing view of academics.

The idea that "Oh come on! How are they doing experiments on humans! It's not like they are doing medical research!" is one that is being promoted by journalists who, as in many other subjects, are simply ignorant of what they are reporting on.

This is also true of lots of Boghossian's supporters who may have never conducted any research, applied for research to be approved by IRBs or had to follow any other similar guidelines.

Sokal, it seems, also doesn't really know what IRBs are for either, and it is worth noting that his own experience of writing a hoax was decades ago, and most of his academic work is on maths and physics so probably does not require IRB approval.

Social sciences are different.

If you have ever written any studies for publication, you will realize that academic institutions have strict guidelines for what is permitted. Simply saying that you didn't seek approval because you thought the IRB would turn it down, is almost an admission of wrongdoing in my opinion.

In the article that Sokal quotes, Jesse Singal, while clearly writing somewhat supportively of Boghossian, even states that the university professors he spoke to all agreed Boghossian should have gotten approval from the IRB.

Quote:
For the purposes of Peter Boghossian’s case, three facts about IRBs matter a great deal: “study” is defined rather broadly in the federal guidelines; possible risks to humans — even ones that non-IRB nerds may view as negligible — are taken very seriously; and IRBs tend to look especially closely at studies involving deception. For these and other reasons, each of the four IRB experts I spoke or emailed with agreed that yes, the grievance-studies hoax needed IRB approval; yes, it clearly involved human subjects; and no, PSU’s decision to investigate it on that front cannot be reasonably viewed, on its own, as politically motivated. In other words: This particular aspect of the university’s response smells more like a standard reaction to improperly vetted research than a witch hunt.

First, the definition of “study”: As PSU explained to Boghossian in a document it sent him December 17, the university determined that his work met the definition of “study” as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services in language that reads — this isn’t included in the letter itself — “a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.” All the IRB experts I communicated with said they agreed that the grievance-studies hoax qualified as a result of its basic structure, and some pointed to the language the hoaxsters used themselves — calling it a “study” in their Areo article or “a satirical scholarly audit” in a press release published earlier this week — as extra proof of that.
Quote:
in the video Boghossian released earlier this week, Helen Pluckrose expresses some skepticism that what they were doing was really human-studies research, but again, all the experts I spoke with disagreed. First of all, “if they believed that this was not human-subjects research, the process would have been to submit to the IRB an application that says I believe this research that I’m doing is exempt,” said Fisher. “And the IRB makes the determination if it’s not human-subject.” It’s not their call, in other words — it’s still the IRB’s.
Actually, Signal's piece is pretty good and definitely worth reading properly.

This is probably the take-away...

Quote:
Again, it doesn’t matter whether you or most of the rest of society believe this to be an overly sensitive kid-glove approach. This is the well-established, risk-averse way in which IRBs do business, and it isn’t a mystery to anyone who has dealt with one. If it’s too conservative a stance, that’s a problem with the system — not with PSU’s administration of the existing rules.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 21st November 2021, 12:01 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I don't believe hoaxes are studies, I don't believe they could obtain IRB approval, and I don't believe they should seek to do so for the reasons laid out by Sokal.
The fact that you don't believe they could have gotten an ethics board to approve the study yet still think he should have done it is telling.

Let's be clear here. This study could target people for harassment, and harassment is harm.

If the goal here is to test for lax peer review there are ways to do that which don't expose people to harassment, safeguards that could be in place to avoid identifying individuals, but apparently trying to go about this ethically was just too much work.
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Old 21st November 2021, 02:19 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
What you believe is not really relevant particularly since they claimed they did do a study - an ethnography, to be precise.
I happen to think they are wrong about this, and I've already said so. Do you happen to think they are actually (as opposed to metaphorically) doing ethnography by delving into an academic subculture other than their own? If you don't think so, why imply that the ethical standards of ethnography are actually applicable here?

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
People doing studies/research involving human subjects typically need to do some rudimentary training to understand how to handle data and protect the anonymity of their subjects.
It isn't possible to preserve the anonymity of journal editors, last I checked.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Sokal, it seems, also doesn't really know what IRBs are for either, and it is worth noting that his own experience of writing a hoax was decades ago, and most of his academic work is on maths and physics so probably does not require IRB approval.
If Sokal hoaxed Social TextWP again today, would it ethically require IRB oversight?

Originally Posted by Irony View Post
This study could target people for harassment, and harassment is harm.
Your reply to posters on a public forum could go viral and result in harassment. Seems improbable, though.

Originally Posted by Irony View Post
The fact that you don't believe they could have gotten an ethics board to approve the study yet still think he should have done it is telling.
It should be telling you something about my faith in academic institutions to exercise good judgement when the probability of (non-reputational) harm is negligible.
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Old 21st November 2021, 03:57 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I happen to think they are wrong about this,
The Red Herring Kid strikes again.

It doesn't matter in any meaningful way what you think they were doing qualifies as for the question of if they are being treated unfairly by other academics and institutions regarding the protections for research.

They want to claim the advantages of academic freedoms without having to adhere to academic rigor. You wish to extend to them the benefit of the former without even calling it inside the former, which is just another set of wrong that doesn't mean anything to the argument.
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Old 21st November 2021, 04:40 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I happen to think they are wrong about this, and I've already said so.
Fascinating.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 07:58 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
It doesn't matter in any meaningful way what you think they were doing qualifies as for the question of if they are being treated unfairly by other academics and institutions regarding the protections for research.
I'm happy to admit that if they were doing ethnography, then the ethics of ethnography would apply. What they were actually doing was much more analogous to editorializing, though.
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