Wind turbines.

Nina Pierpont is a long-time, self-published advocate of the view that living within a kilometer or two of industrial scale wind farms can cause migraines, sleep deprivation, and other serious symptoms and long term damage. Now she’s gained mainstream attention by claiming that her new (self-published) book Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Natural Experiment is peer-reviewed.

Note, however, that the imprint publishing this work, K-Selected Books, has a four-person editorial board consisting of Pierpont, her husband Calvin Luther Martin, and two other members. Pierpont’s husband is also the book’s editor. Her book only can be ordered only from her website. The “publisher” website is a page on Pierpont’s site. This is obviously a self-published book.

Valid peer-review is, by nature, independent. While authors are encouraged (and sometimes required) to suggest possible peer reviewers, the final selection of reviewers in valid refereeing is never made by people closely related to the author, or hired by the author. Pierpont being on the editorial board of a company that she claims oversaw a peer review process is itself a scandal. I would be curious to know who the actual editor was who made the final selection of referees. Was it someone other than her husband?

Here is the sad thing: People make non-peer-reviewed arguments every day. Non-fiction that is not peer reviewed has been known to end up on the best-seller list and influence public debate. In falsely claiming valid peer review, Pierpont has undermined the credibility of her arguments far more than non-peer reviewed publication would have. Valid arguments do not need to be shored up by carefully planned deceit.

Pierpont’s work has been widely disputed in peer-reviewed publications. This dishonesty does not encourage me to believe her over her opponents.

Shame on Pierpont for using such deceit to prop up her case. Shame on the Independent for not even bothering to read the Pierpont website carefully enough to detect this poorly concealed deception.