Somebody back then had the bright idea that, if peer reviewers were anonymous and free from accountability, they would be more candid and more truthful. For about five decades, ...NSF, NASA and other agencies have been doing what no foreign adversary or terrorist organization has been able to do: They have been slowly and imperceptibly undermining American science, driving America toward third-world status in science. Secret, unaccountable reviews - frequently by one's competitors - give unfair advantage to reviewers who would falsely berate a competitor's proposal for research funds... The system has been to open to corruption for decades, and remains open to further corruption... There is a far, far more devastating consequence of secret, unaccountable reviews: Out of fear of being "denounced" in secret reviews, many scientists have become pale-gray, defensive, adopting only the consensus-approved viewpoint and refraining from discussing anything that might be considered a challenge to other's work or to the funding agency's programs. Political correctness is the order.Thanks FGS.
Ernest Lawrence, a pure experimentalist... said, "Don't you worry about it -- the theorists will find a way to make them all the same." -- Alvarez by Luis Alvarez (page 184)
I must reiterate my feeling that experimentalists always welcome the suggestions of the theorists. But the present situation is ridiculous... In my considered opinion the peer review system, in which proposals rather than proposers are reviewed, is the greatest disaster to be visited upon the scientific community in this century. No group of peers would have approved my building the 72-inch bubble chamber. Even Ernest Lawrence told me that he thought I was making a big mistake. He supported me because my track record was good. I believe U.S. science could recover from the stultifying effects of decades of misguided peer reviewing if we returned to the tried-and-true method of evaluating experimenters rather than experimental proposals. Many people will say that my ideas are elitist, and I certainly agree. The alternative is the egalitarianism that we now practice and that I've seen nearly kill basic science in the USSR and in the People's Republic of China. -- ibid (pp 200-201)
Whoops, I forgot to take out “Thanks FGS.” [blush]