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Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea [3x]
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Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea [3x]



Table of Contents:

   Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea                   
     "tobias c. van Veen" <tobias {AT} techno.ca>                                         

   Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea                   
     Ronda Hauben <ronda {AT} umcc.ais.org>                                               

   Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea                   
     "tobias c. van Veen" <tobias {AT} techno.ca>                                         



------------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 00:30:25 -0500
From: "tobias c. van Veen" <tobias {AT} techno.ca>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea


Ok, indeed the Net has played a role here, and this is Good, but is this
truly the power of the Net? Wouldn't it make the most sense for a
scientist's peer group to discuss a paper's legitimacy ? Yes, the Net has
facilitated a certain level of conversation, and yes, the journal Science
was fooled, but that this conversation / debate / critique has taken place
in regional-national-linguistic boundaries only highlights those very
geographical and community boundaries. This would have been more significant
and signalled the Net's extensive abilities if it was a non-Korean group of,
say, non-scientific bloggers using Babelfish who had established the
critique. It must be considered that this is not the advantage of broadband
but rather that scientists in a particular region and discipline, thank
Zeus, continue to read and critique each other when they smell a rat, even
after being published and supposedly peer-reviewed. In this case the Net has
become the best means to do so -- in the past, it has been correspondence,
pamphlets, etc. The Net has accelerated the process -- perhaps. The power of
simply reading and researching cannot be underestimated.

Best of the New Year as well, just feeling somewhat weary of that
techno-utopianism after watching SpamSieve forage 1200+ spam messages across
the various accounts daily, tV


tobias c. van Veen -----------++++
http://www.quadrantcrossing.org --
http://www.thisistheonlyart.com --
McGill Communication + Philosophy
ICQ: 18766209 | AIM: thesaibot +++ 




------------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 14:14:09 -0500 (EST)
From: Ronda Hauben <ronda {AT} umcc.ais.org>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea


On Fri, 30 Dec 2005, tobias c. van Veen wrote:

>
> Ok, indeed the Net has played a role here, and this is Good, but is this
> truly the power of the Net?

It's the power of the Internet and the Netizen.

It would have much more difficult if not impossible to have
uncovered this fraud and have had it acknowledged without
the Internet and the netizens.

The South Korean online science sites BRIC, scieng and
the Science Gallery of DC Inside were able to make it possible
to have those with scientific knowledge and knowledge of
graphics and photos review the graphics in the respective
papers and determine what the problems were with those
graphics.

Then it was possible for them spread this knowledge with the
help of the rest of the online community, including the online
media in South Korea.

The New York Times, in early December, noted this basis for
uncovering the fraud.

The peer review system of the American journal Science didn't
catch the fraud.

It was good there was the online community of scientists and
those interested in science in South Korea. Otherwise this
fraud would not have been revealed.

One had to be able to effectively challenge all the offline
institutions that were supporting the fraud and trying to
intimidate or harass those who were trying to expose it.

also scientific knowledge was needed, and an eye to being
able to spot problems in photos.


> Wouldn't it make the most sense for a
> scientist's peer group to discuss a paper's legitimacy ?

But that was supposed the process that reviewed the paper for
the journal Science and they didn't spot the fraud.

The supposed scientific peer group at the journal Science failed.

> Yes, the Net has
> facilitated a certain level of conversation, and yes, the journal Science
> was fooled, but that this conversation / debate / critique has taken place
> in regional-national-linguistic boundaries only highlights those very
> geographical and community boundaries. This would have been more significant
> and signalled the Net's extensive abilities if it was a non-Korean group of,
> say, non-scientific bloggers using Babelfish who had established the
> critique.

I don't understand why you say this.

It is a tribute to Korean scientists and the online community there
that they could challenge the pressure to let the fraud go by.


>It must be considered that this is not the advantage of broadband
> but rather that scientists in a particular region and discipline, thank

But the scientists of Korea couldn't have done this without online
sites that made it possible for them to post and communicate anonymously,
and the rest of the online community that read what they were writing,
discussed it on blogs and other online forms, and in the online
press, and spread it broadly and quickly.

I agree that I would like to see others be part of this process,
but it is a tribute to the netizens in Korea that they have achieved
this victory over scientific fraud.

> Zeus, continue to read and critique each other when they smell a rat, even
> after being published and supposedly peer-reviewed.

Yes, and a defense of the scientist with the fraudulent paper was
that it had been  reviewed by Science so one couldn't challenge the
science in it.

It wasn't easy to shatter that appeal to authority, but the online
scientific community did so.

>In this case the Net has
> become the best means to do so -- in the past, it has been correspondence,
> pamphlets, etc. The Net has accelerated the process -- perhaps. The power of
> simply reading and researching cannot be underestimated.

But just reading and reseaching couldn't have achieved the exposure.

The net and the netizens were critical.

>
> Best of the New Year as well, just feeling somewhat weary of that
> techno-utopianism after watching SpamSieve forage 1200+ spam messages across
> the various accounts daily, tV

What has been achieved in South Korea is not techno-utopianism.

It is an actual achievement.

We should find a way to work together to fight spam.

But because there is spam is no basis to deny an important achievement
made possible  by the Internet and the Netizens.

This is a good sign as we move into a new year :-)

cheers

ronda


Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 16:18:57 -0500
From: "tobias c. van Veen" <tobias {AT} techno.ca>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea


hi R,

I can see all these points, of course, that the Net has facilitated a
conversation on a particular published paper. But this facilitation does not
mean that this conversation could not have taken place in absentia of the
Net. 

> But the scientists of Korea couldn't have done this without online
> sites that made it possible for them to post and communicate anonymously,
> and the rest of the online community that read what they were writing,
> discussed it on blogs and other online forms, and in the online
> press, and spread it broadly and quickly.

This is perhaps where we disagree. This has happened somewhat quickly, yes
- -- but beyond speed, I don't see any significant difference between blogs
and the various pamphlet, correspondence and publishing networks that have
existed in tandem with the founding of modenr science in the 18th century
and that has always challenged the edification of peer-review.

What this case demonstates is that the Net has simply incorporated the prior
achievements of these, well, discourse networks into its bulletin board and
blog infrastructures. And that these remain localized to linguistic,
regional and national boundaries. It demonstrates nothing of the essence of
the Net itself, save for its speed... perhaps.

To quickly summarize my point concerning distance and language barriers, of
course I agree with you when you write that "It is a tribute to Korean
scientists and the online community there that they could challenge the
pressure to let the fraud go by," but undoubtedly this could have taken
place and probably would have, in time, without the Net, through the
informal networks which scientists have been maintaining for ages, through
challenges to published theories, etc, conversations, and other means of
communication.

That this critique was advanced from a traditional linguistic, national and
regional locus demonstrates that the Net has not become essential nor novel
but rather incorporated and supplemented existing discourse networks in
science. 

If the critique had come from elsewhere on the planet, it would have perhaps
given more credence to a theory of the speed of the Net in disseminating
information across such geospatial and geotemporal barriers such as to
signify a break with older localized networks and to a positive theory of a
broader conversation taking place beyond such traditional localized
discourse networks and science communities.

best,

    t




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