Biden’s Superstition, Skeptical Inquirer, and Problems with Peer Review

It has been five months since I last posted here, which is an indication of how busy I have

been editing Skeptical Inquirer magazine. At this point, I have edited two issues of the magazine, the  March/April issue, which featured memorials to our late editor, Kendrick Frazier, and the May/June issue devoted to medical pseudoscience from all over the world. The July/August issue is underway now. It has been gratifying to work on the magazine, but I have decided not to put my hat in the ring to be the continuing editor. The search for a new editor is underway now.

On April 25th Joe Biden announced his re-election campaign—exactly four years after announcing his successful run for the 2020 nomination. That bit of superstition was the topic of an op-ed I wrote for the CNN Opinion page entitled “Biden picks a lucky day to launch his campaign. Is it OK that he’s superstitious?” Writing this piece gave me the opportunity to review the colorful history of presidential superstitions—some of which were worse than others.

Although I am busy editing Skeptical Inquirer, I have not entirely given up writing my Behavior & Belief column for the magazine. My most recent column was “Can We Trust Peer Review Journals?” I describe a number of problems associated with open-access journals. I also recount an embarrassing episode involving Frontiers journals, an open-access publisher that has been associated with a number of shoddy practices.

That’s all for now. Happy Spring!