The Black Goat



December 13, 2017

Previously we've talked about judging the scientist by their science. Today we turn the question around: When should you judge a piece of scientific work based on what you know about the person who did it? We examine the arguments for why an author's track record should and shouldn't matter in judging their work. What are the pros and cons of masking authors' identities from reviewers and editors? How do we simultaneously manage validity and bias, and reconcile those things with a broader concept of fairness? And also: This week's letter is about what to do when your findings fail to replicate. 

Discussed in this episode:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at You can email us at You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 23. It was recorded December 2, 2017.