When a Paradigm becomes a Paradogma

Great word: ‘paradogma’ defined by Paul as “a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model that is so incontrovertibly true for a person or group of people that it excludes the existence and value of all other patterns or models” and further as “a world view underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject that the users see as the only world view that is of any value (e.g., the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama’s is not the legitimate president of the United States because he is not a natural-born US citizen is the paradogma of birthers in the United States)”.

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I just experienced something that I have never experienced before (as an academic) and hope never to experience again. I am very tempted to name names here (naming and shaming), but have chosen not to do so and keep the persons in question anonymous. You might want to see it as a variation of what the announcer used to say at the beginning of a 1960s TV show called Dragnet: “The story you are about to read is true; the names have been changed to protect the guilty”.

What is the case? A PhD student contacted me and some colleagues via email about the fact that (s)he felt that an article that (s)he had written and submitted was being rejected, not on the grounds of its quality, but rather because of the journal’s / editor’s / reviewer’s ideology. (Before proceeding I need to emphasize very strongly…

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