The final version of our microplastic debate (“much ado about nothing?”) is now online: https://peerj.com/preprints/26507v6/ This is the sixth incarnation of the preprint, which now includes the final statements from Martin and myself.
Make sure that you don’t miss Therese Karlsson‘s feedback to the preprint. Therese is working on the issue of microplastics in the environment herself, so thanks a bunch for an interesting contribution to our debate !
This was certainly interesting conversation, well worth the effort. Of course, we were running a bit behind schedule in the end (not overly surprising). But we managed to push the paper over the finish line. Now we just need to decide whether we take an effort to submit a polished version of the text as a full paper. I guess that will depend on whether we manage to find the time… In any case, the debate shows that preprints are an interesting communication tool that can also take a middle ground between public panel discussions and peer-review papers. Preprints are freely available to everybody, so we might reach a broader audience, not only the usual circles within academia, industry and regulation – but also including the general public. And in contrast to a simple blogpost, which might disappear or change any moment, preprints, with their official DOI, are a permanent contribution to the literature.
I connected to Martin on twitter. That might prove the point that it can indeed be scientifically productive, rewarding and even fun to be active there. The conversation with Martin (and separate debates with other twitterers) actually provided a much needed contrast to my recent run-in with my special friends from the American Council against Science and Health (ACSH) and their entourage – who are less interested in a science-based conversation, but are more into mud-slinging.