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Personal Views Personal views

The sins of expertness and a proposal for redemption

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7244.1283 (Published 06 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1283

Rapid Response:

Paradigm Ruts

I call this effect 'paradigm ruts'. Once you are in that rut, there
is only one way forward, a lot of rut behind you and no possibility of
looking sideways! You may as well be out of it for all the good you are
doing.

I remember the wonderful interview on the BBC with Maddox (Nature)
when he retired. He was asked at the start what was the most important
paper he had published and replied, without doubt, Crick and Watson on
DNA.

The conversation later turned to peer review and its failings.
Maddox was asked if the DNA paper would get published today with the rigid
review process to which he confidently replied 'Oh no, not at all'.....
he didn't even laugh!

Science is no longer about seeking knowledge - it is about keeping
careers.

Was it Neils Bohr (or one of those guys) who said that thinking does
not change in Science - it is just that the old ones die.

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 May 2000
Eric Spain
Chiarman, natural health assn of Hong Kong
Hong kong