Sense about Science
Debating Peer Review

'Stem cell research is being blocked by biased reviewers'

'Climategate scientists used peer review to exclude skeptic researchers'

'Impact factors corrupting peer review'

These are just some of the recent discussions among researchers, the media and the public about challenges to peer reviewed publishing. On the other hand, peer review results in 1.3 million learned articles being published each year and it is fundamental to the integration of new research findings in hundreds of fields of inquiry and represents a unique, global collaboration in evaluation and quality assurance.


This session will look at perceptions of peer review among the public, policy makers and the media, and at perceptions in the research community, including findings from the Peer Review Survey 2009. It will enable participants to:

  • Gain insights from the recent work of Sense About Science, the research community and publishers to popularize an understanding of peer review.
  • Develop initiatives to promote understanding of peer review among researchers, policy makers, media, and information and education services.
  • Set the agenda for a constructive discussion about the contribution that scholarly publishing makese to science and wider society.


Introduction: David Ruth, Senior Vice President, Global Communications, Elsevier

Presentation: Tracey Brown, Managing Director, Sense About Science

Panel and plenary discssion

Facilitator: Tracey Brown, Managing Director, Sense About Science


  • Chris Biemesderfer, Director of Publishing, American Astronomical Society
  • Joanne Carney, Legislative Affairs, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Elizabeth H. Cox, PhD, Executive Editor, Life Science Journals, John Wiley

About Us

Sense About Science is an independent non-profit organization promoting good science and evidence in public debates. We do this by promoting respect for evidence and by urging scientists to engage actively with a wide range of groups, particularly when debates are controversial or difficult.

We work with scientists to:

  • respond to inaccuracies in public claims about science, medicine, and technology
  • promote the benefits of scientific research to the public
  • help those who need expert help
  • contact scientists about issues of importance
  • brief non-specialists on scientific developments and practices

CrossRef 2010 Annual Meeting video of Tracey Brown, Managing Director,

Sense About Science

'Making Sense of Science and Evidence'

'I Don't Know What to Believe: Making Sense of Science Stories' pdf

Peer Review Survey 2009: Preliminary Findings

Tracey Brown's latest column in People and Science (page 3) video of Tracey Brown, Managing Director, Sense about Science

Registration is free, but you must register for admission. Registration is on a first come, first served basis. Space is limited.

Events Terms and Conditions

Where an event has registration fees, cancellations made in writing up to 30 days before an event are eligible for a 50% refund. No refunds can be made for cancellations received on or after 30 days prior to the event date, however, substitutions may be made free of charge at any time.

Registration fees do not include insurance. Participants are advised to take out adequate personal insurance to cover travel, accommodation, cancellation and personal effects.