Many years ago, I moved to Paris with only high school French to sustain me. Parisians have a reputation for -- shall we say -- brusqueness, and I had no shortage of embarrassing encounters that I interpreted as scorn for my weak French and wretchedly obvious American-ness. Over time as my French improved and my wardrobe shifted to the local norm, I noticed that I was still encountering a heckuva lot of brusqueness. But as I developed the ability to understand the conversations going on around me, I figured something out: Parisians weren't singling me out for my accent or my clothes -- they were hard on everyone, including each other. Made me feel better, somehow.
I was reminded of those years recently when I read the editorial in the July 4, 2014 issue of Science magazine in which editor-in-chief Marcia McNutt announced the establishment of a new quality control measure -- a Statistical Board of Reviewing Editors, or SBoRE. Why would Science do such a thing?