Friday, 10 September 2010

Peer Review

The scientific process - observation, hypothesis, experimentation and new hypothesis - isn't the end of the matter. Peer review involves a whole raft of knowledgeable and motivated people in considering the truth of scientific papers. In the initial stages of this review process are editors who send papers out to their selected reviewers before they commit to publishing.

Could this process become part of democracy?

Central to the notion is that editors are able to choose experts who have a greater say over the progress of ideas than anyone else. It is entirely feasible that a cross party committee of MPs could assess the qualifications of people who put themselves forwards for this role, based on academic qualifications or direct experience. These reviewers (who are unlikely to be politicians) could be given the privilege of being able to express themselves on "Experts" pages attached to each issue on the ID website, which voters could then read and judge. This would ensure expert leadership were brought to the fore without undermining the power of voters. It would also form another counterbalance to the power of the press.

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