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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.
Abaluck et al. is a first. Up to now we had simulation and laboratory studies suggesting that masks ought to work and observational studies trying to tease a mask effect out of all the other interventions and failed to find any. Against this unsatisfactory background Abaluck et al. offer the first clear result, albeit with a somewhat smaller effect size than would be hoped for.
I always have and shall continue to oppose the retraction of scientific papers for non-scientific, especially ethical reasons. Brainard is another very pertinent case in point. Let us accept both claims, the data were obtained illicitly and they will be abused for human rights violations. So what shall the retraction achieve? The data are already out there, they are in the hands of security forces and they will be abused. All the retraction does is take them out of the public domain, out of the eyes of the public and make those abuses less visible and harder to control. Is that worth while achieving for the sake of a moral principle?
If China’s reactor as reported by Mallapaty actually succeeds, this will be the first working molten salt reactor ever and the Holy Grail of nuclear technology finally achieved.
For Dai & Saccardo et al. see my comments on Milkman et al. in the list of 2021-05-21
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