Peers down the years


George Bush is US president and storming the desert. John Major is UK Prime Minister. You hear Bryan Adams sing ‘Everything I do’ for the first time (lovely for a wedding) and even ‘Sit down’ to James. Pity the poor students graduating in the middle of a recession. Never mind, they can go and see Silence of the Lambs at the cinema.

For the good of all men

At the Journal of the American Medical Association, affectionately known as JAMA, 27% of peer reviewers (930 out of 3382) are women.

Meanwhile something called a website goes online at CERN. Fast forward to the next century for more.


The US president is still called George Bush, but with a W between the George and the Bush (sounds like a pub crawl). Tony Blair is re-elected in the UK. ‘You’re Beautiful’ is now the must-play wedding track thanks to James Blunt.

Bird-brained  (eisenbahner CC BY 2.0)

Between January and March of this year, 16.2% of reviewers (152 out of 940) for Nature Neuroscience are women. What is it about the neurosciences? It’s not that important – you’ll probably get bird flu soon.


George W is still in the White House and Gordon Brown moves to 10 Downing Street. The phrase ‘in the current economic climate’ is limbering up quietly in the wings. Nature Cell Biology is encouraged that 25.1% of 346 reviewers are women. It’s not all bad news though – Twitter is launched this year.


Barack Obama is completing his first term as US president and David Cameron is the British PM. iPads and iPhones are nothing new like recession and graduate unemployment.  Are science journals just as biased when choosing peer reviewers as two decades ago?

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