Peer review by patients! Understanding the Universe…

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When it comes to clinical research, the participation of the people being treated—the patients—usually ends by the time the study is submitted to a journal. A few U.K.-based publishers are now looking to change that. Last month, BioMed Central, an open-access publisher, announced that in 2015 it will launch the journal Research Involvement and Engagement, which will closely collaborate with patients in all aspects of its editorial processes, including peer review. The new journal aims to capture the contributions of non-academics to scientific research.

But will patients be able to review scientific papers that require technical knowledge? “We will select patient reviewers to look at a particular paper depending on their area of expertise, which often links to the [medical] experiences they have had,” Staniszewska asserts. (1)

Peer review is crucial to science. But up to now the subjects of science were not asked for their opinion. Simply because science tends to have… “objects” rather than subjects.

Humans slowly find their place in the cosmos.

A cosmos full of life.
No objects.
Just subjects.
In denial of themselves.
Dreaming of objects.
A world full of life and life only.
There can be no other way.
There can be no other science.
But the science of humans.
Stop analyzing objects.
And you will understand the Universe…

Hoopa, lost artifacts, modern nihilism…

As High Country News describes it, the Hoopa Tribal Museum is more like a borrowing library than a display museum. If you’re a member of the northern California tribe, you can check out the museum’s artifacts to use in ceremonies. Pretty cool.

There’s one strange catch, however. Some of the artifacts are poisoned, literally. Museum staff keep them quarantined in a special room because they’re not safe for would-be borrowers to handle, wear, or keep in their homes. But at least one lab is now developing a cost-effective method for cleaning the artifacts—something tribes could afford and do themselves, High Country News reports.

The poisons, including mercury, arsenic and DDT, are a legacy from European American anthropologists who took the artifacts from tribes during the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Anthropologists dipped their stolen clothes, headbands, and prayer sticks in toxic solutions to keep insects from damaging them. Then the scientists put the artifacts into glass-covered museum displays, no touching allowed. This happened not only to objects belonging to the Hoopa, but to tribes all over the U.S. (1)

However the real poison in this case is not the poison it self.
The real poison is the attitude we have towards things.
We have destroyed the meaning of living.
We have turned things into objects. (αντι-κείμενα)
We have lost the sacred nature of everyday being.
And we try to find consolation in our idolization of everyday objects.
We admired those things.
Things the tribes used just for… everyday chores!
And now we want to give them back.
As if these tribes did not know how to blend with nature, how to be one with the cosmos even if someone stole their… basket…
Who’s the real primitive?

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