I wrote a short post about the arsenate-bacteria story last weekend; in the meantime the story has developed. Carl Zimmer ran a long story early this week, reflecting many scientists' criticisms of the work and the response of the authors:
"Any discourse will have to be peer-reviewed in the same manner as our paper was, and go through a vetting process so that all discussion is properly moderated," wrote Felisa Wolfe-Simon of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. "The items you are presenting do not represent the proper way to engage in a scientific discourse and we will not respond in this manner."
Zimmer documents the on-the-record comments by experts on his blog. This is a nice piece of reporting, it's impressive the number of people from whom he has thoughtful comments.
I like Bora Zivkovic's analogy:
I love all the parallels between #wikileaks and #arseniclife, especially in how the power-structure position influences views of critics and supporters… When comparing #wikileaks and #arseniclife it is important to compare the attitudes of the MSM – does it align with the rock (state, government, institutions, traditional hierarchy and power-structure, top-down control) or the hard-place (people formerly known as audience, including people with greater expertise on the topic than journalists, bottom-up control, democratization of information, freedom of information)?