NEWS 最新消息


Forensic Magzine September 29,2021: Journal Editor Calls Out ‘Emotional’ Response to Controversial Study

In a recently published Letter to the Editor in his own journal, Michael Peat, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Forensic Sciences, said he is disappointed by the “emotional” nature of letters submitted in response to a February 2021 study by Itiel Dror et al., that claims to show the potential for racial cognitive bias in the forensic pathology field.

The controversy over the study has continued to escalate and turned personal with ad hominem attacks against Dror and his co-authors. The National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) even filed a formal complaint to the University College London where Dror is employed. The complaint was investigated and ultimately dismissed.

“It was not disappointing to me that this article received such scrutiny; however, the ‘emotional’ nature of some of the letters was,” Peat writes in his letter. “I certainly recognize that we all have different opinions and we all have biases. However, it is important that we discuss these issues openly and professionally and we encourage all concerned to do so. In my opinion, discussion is the best means for resolving issues, both in science and elsewhere in today’s world. We should not lose sight of that.”

The original article by cognitive expert Dror and a handful of senior forensic pathologists received 9 commentaries, all of which the authors answered. The Journal of Forensic Sciences (JFS) then allowed Dror et al., and authors of two of the original commentaries to respond back a second time, resulting in a total of 22 letters. You can find all of them, in addition to Peat’s letter, here.

Three of the commentaries demanded JFS retract the Dror study, with Peterson et. al., going as far as to say the journal risked “ceding its reputation from advancing objectivity and rigorous scientific method in forensic science to promoting agenda-driven editorial content disguised as medical literature.” Two letters from NAME demanded retraction of the study, as well. In his letter, Peat confirms that the journal took the retraction demands seriously, asking Wiley’s Integrity in Publishing Group and the Committee on Publication Ethics, as well as the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Institutional Review Board, to investigate. None of the investigations found grounds to support a retraction of the original article. more

Copyright c Taiwan Society of Forensic Medicine, All Rights Reserved.