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Well, to be more specific, a neuroscientist got a paper on midi-chlorians – that’s the microscopic cells that give a Jedi his or her powers – published in four dodgy scientific journals.
Remember in The Phantom Menace when Liam Neeson, being the pro that he is, rattled off some of the worst dialogue in cinematic history that explained midi-chlorians? No? Let’s dredge up some bad memories with a clip.
You’re probably wondering why any scientific journal would actually publish a paper on a completely fictional bit of science that has absolutely no relevance in the real world, right? Well, as it turns out, there’s an entire industry of so-called predatory journals that will basically publish anything and everything you send them. So much so, in fact, that one neuroscientist wanted to see how far they could push it.
The neuroscientist, who blogs anonymously under the name Neuroskeptic, pulled full paragraphs from the Wikipedia article relating to mitochondrion, reworded them and then slapped them into the paper. Mitochondrion is real, by the way, and has to do with DNA. Not only that, the paper also dropped in whole swathes of dialogue from Revenge Of The Sith – namely, the Darth Plagueis The Wise speech – and nobody even clocked it. There’s even mentions of Wookiee’s Disease, JARJAR Syndrome and Lightsaber‘s hereditary optic neuropathy.
The paper was published on International Journal of Molecular Biology: Open Access, the Austin Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and the American Research Journal of Biosciences – with one journal, the American Journal of Medical and Biological Research, accepting the paper provided a fee of $360 was paid.
Well, to be more specific, a neuroscientist got a paper on midi-chlorians – that’s the microscopic cells that give a Jedi his or her powers – published in four dodgy scientific…