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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:48 
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As someone who has a large number of peer-reviewed publications in their own field I would comment thus:

Peer review does NOT establish something is correct. It would come closest in "hard science" disciplines where the analysis of data has the fewest "soft" (human) influences. In "social" disciplines (and I would argue that road safety comes into that category because of the large number of behavioural and policy influencers) where analysis of statistics is highly interpretable, all peer review does is to establish that a) the work is of sufficiently high academic quality and b) the argument presented and conclusion post postulated is CREDIBLE (note NOT "CORRECT").

I have published papers in journals which have high RAE (research assessment exercise) ratings which have: been regarded as controversial, been bitterly disagreed with, and p1ssed some people off.

In other words, in most fields "peer review" does NOT establish truth - it establishes the content as worthy of note and serious consideration.

When someone is publishing "articles" (not reviewed) which draw on statistics from credible sources and quote established sources, the sort of critique Monbiot has put forwards smacks of sneering, and of an attempt to discredit the author rather than the argument.

My assessment of the use of "sources" in this bout of disagreement, is the Mobiot has been MUCH more selective than the Telegraph authors, and has used sources (some as the "motorists think..." surveys) of lower quality. Coming from someone who proports to have academic credibilty, his article is, in my view, of very poor quality, even compared to the Telegraph article - which is honest about being a piece of journalism.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:51 
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There is a comment about the Monbigot article on the Telegraph Motoring website today.
Quote:
Speed kills: inconvenient facts
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT //
Peter Hall addresses criticism of last week's article about offical road safety policy

Following our publication last week of part of a chapter from a new book on the dangers of scare stories by Christopher Booker and Richard North, all-purpose ecomentalist George Monbiot this week accused the authors of "intellectual dishonesty" and of "ignoring inconvenient facts".

Here, then, are some more facts, which Mr Monbiot may or may not regard as inconvenient. Based on its first survey of the causes of accidents (in 2005), the Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed that exceeding the speed limit is a factor in only two per cent of injury crashes involving drivers over the age of 25. For younger drivers, aged 17-25, the percentage is six per cent, and for the youngest, aged 17-19, it is eight per cent. Travelling too fast for the conditions, but within the legal speed limit, is a factor in five, 11 and 14 per cent of crashes respectively. For full details see section 2.5 of the memorandum at www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200 ... 032102.htm

This is not the first time the DfT has disproved its own assertion (over many years) that speeding causes a third of all road accidents; in September last year it was forced to publish figures showing that only five per cent of road accidents involve a vehicle exceeding the speed limit.

While fully supporting law enforcement, many concerned citizens have therefore wondered whether the most effective way to reduce accidents is to replace police traffic patrols with speed cameras. However, such questions do not disturb the intellectual certainty of Mr Monbiot. According to his article in Tuesday’s Guardian, critics of official policy, including road safety experts and serving police officers, are nothing more than “swaggering petrolheads”.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 13:53 
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You should see the completely non-selective (yeah, right) published comments in todays Guardian. There are 6 comments on the story, of which 4 are pro- Monbiot - very anti-car anti-anyone thinking for themselves whilst in a car - letters, 1 sitting on a fence letter and one anti Monbiot letter. So 4-1 against cars... in contrast it took me 2/3 pages of scrolling through comments on the Guardian website to discover any posts supporting the man George... how democratic for the editors to decide to publish such a spread of letters which most definitely does not reflect the feelings of a majority of readers.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 18:22 
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Monbigot, isn't he the environmentalist who has just moved to Wales and bought himself a gas guzzling 4x4.

I expect he will soon join the other speed camera hypocrite, Meredydd Hughes, and get a speeding ticket from Richard Brunstrom.

None of these people really believe, or practice, what they preach, they just want to foist their ideas on everyone else, but carry on regardless themselves.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 19:32 
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Dr L wrote:
Monbigot, isn't he the environmentalist who has just moved to Wales and bought himself a gas guzzling 4x4.

He did actually buy a diesel Clio - but even that required gorging on humble pie after he had so loudly decried cars in general.

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Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 19:55 
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Bet it wasn't the dci 100, they're quite tasty.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 23:36 
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Yes, but George Monbiot is qualified as a Zoologist so is idealy suited to comment on road safety... and... road... engineering... Er... hang on! He has no relevant qualifications at all!

The only context in which George Monbiot can be said to be peer reviewed is because he is full of pee!

And can we trust a man whose surname sounds like a plant disease?

"Sorry, Farmer George. But I am afraid the top field is contaminated with Monbiot."

Anagrams of George Monbiot =
Goober Emoting
Ego Be Motoring

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 00:29 
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PeterE wrote:
Dr L wrote:
Monbigot, isn't he the environmentalist who has just moved to Wales and bought himself a gas guzzling 4x4.

He did actually buy a diesel Clio - but even that required gorging on humble pie after he had so loudly decried cars in general.

Green Guru Invades Powys — In His Car, ABD, 8 June 2007
http://www.abd.org.uk/local/powys.htm

Mr Green goes motoring, The Sunday Times, 3 June 2007
Scourge of cars George Monbiot now owns one. He explains his Clio moment
http://driving.timesonline.co.uk/tol/li ... 870293.ece

Obviously just another of the hypocrites who want to inflict their warped ideas on others, but ignore these principles when it comes to themselves.
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