Thursday, December 31, 2009

Scientific Advancement

I agree with Michelle Dawson's assessment that the editorial board of the proposed journal Autism Insights is dubious in nature and bad news for autistic individuals, and I expect its actions will be motivated far more by personal interests and personal agendas than by any desire to advance the science.

But my question is: how would this differ from the editorial board of any other autism-related journal?

In fact, it is revealing that assessments in autism science have now devolved mostly into questions of scientific reputation, for when you are faced with a discipline in which practically no one is advancing the science in any meaningful way, reputation becomes the only thing left to argue.

Nonetheless, scientific reputation is only a pseudo measure. Playing by the rules and convincing others to recognize you for having played by the rules does nothing to promote understanding—to promote autism insight, if you will—and it certainly does not qualify as good news for autistic individuals.

Good science spinning its wheels travels no farther than bad science prowling at random.

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