Robert MacDonald points us to this news article by Esther Addley:
It’s another example of what’s probably bad science being published in a major journal, where other researchers point out its major flaws and the author doubles down.
In this case, the University of Bristol has an interesting reaction. It’s pulled down its article praising the research, which is good, but it’s also distancing itself from him. Whereas it was originally very happy to associate itself with this work, now they’re saying it was done independently and has nothing to do with Bristol. I’m actually pretty disappointed in that, partly because they can’t have it both ways but also because it seems (to me) like it weakens the university-faculty relationship.
The author’s response (dripping with arrogance) is a concise summary of the sort of “published research is unquestionable” mentality you’ve been talking about. As quoted in the article:
The paper has been blind peer-reviewed and published in a highly reputable journal, which is the gold standard in scientific corroboration. Thus, all protocol was followed to the letter and the work is officially supported. Given time, many scholars will have used the solution for their own research of the manuscript and published their own papers, so the small tide of resistance will wane.
I find it particularly interesting that he’s arguing not that others will see he’s right, but that other people will start using his results — so I guess the resistance will dry up because his results will become embedded in the fabric of the whole field.
Yup. The research incumbency rule. Just horrible.