Peer Review Comments on Frankenstein’s Monster

frankenstein_pg_7

Reviewer 1: “Are the neck bolts strictly necessary? It seems that the study’s author could have substituted a lithium ion battery, or a solar panel, or perhaps a wall plug and an extension cable. Maybe even a rotation-powered generator with a large wheel and a particularly enthusiastic hamster would work. It’s a thought.

I’m also confused about the numerous scars and the decision to use visible stitching — it appears there was no plastic surgeon available to consult during assembly. Or perhaps the local drugstore was just out of gas-tank-sized jars of cocoa butter?

Furthermore, I’m not quite sure if the sample really needed to be gigantic to ensure proper construction. The author may want to review some of the recent advances in laparoscopic surgery.”

Reviewer 2: “This study is not innovative; it is a slight modification of an existing method. A pilot study for animation from dead matter has been detailed in the earlier publication ‘Genesis’ (see God, et. al.). The author touches on this work but is rather vague about citing it, though the theoretical parallels are striking.

Additionally, the author’s decision to withhold key elements of his methodology is, quite frankly, questionable. This makes reproducibility impossible and impugns the veracity and reliability of his results. It’s almost as if he didn’t want the study replicated.”

Reviewer 3: “Entirely unimpressive. This is not the monster I would have created.”

Image Source / Public Domain

Victor Frankenstein’s Medical School Rejection Letter

frankenstein_pg_7

Dear Mr. Frankenstein,

The Admissions Committee of Ingolstadt Medical University has completed its review of your application, and we regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you a place in this year’s entering class. Our committee faced a difficult task in deciding among the many highly qualified applicants, and we realize that many competent applicants will be unable to gain admission this year. If, however, you wish to reapply at some future point, please consider the following parts of your application that might be strengthened.

While we concur with you that your earlier study of Paracelsus and Albertus Magnus has few modern applications, as their so-called “exploded systems” have been superseded by more advanced knowledge, we feel your conclusion falls a little short. The works of Drs. Krempe and Waldeman that you replaced them with may indeed contain “a great deal of sound sense and real information”, but these authors’ publications rather noticeably lack an impact factor, citations or even PMID. Moreover, we suspect that their research may also be out of date, as most of it seems to have been published on parchment.

We appreciate your utter conviction that you are uniquely fated for a career in science, although it seems a little odd that fate steered you first toward a defunct field of scientific study. Fate also appears to have directed you away from any courses remotely resembling bioethics. We feel that for one intended for a career in medicine or any other field involving contact with actual humans, this shows remarkably curious judgment on, uh, “fate’s” part.

Finally, your “independent study” project, as you call it, is rather lacking in detail regarding its purpose and methodology and also appears to require a great deal of grave-robbing, which (we assure you) is not going to pass IRB. While we admire your ambition and your all-consuming desire for these experiments to ultimately “bestow animation upon lifeless matter”, as you call it, it seems this could more easily be accomplished using techniques in modern genetics. Or, failing that, with a candlelit dinner, a willing partner, some form of ethanol and an evening of very poor decision-making.

Please do not consider this a reflection on your academic ability, but feel free to view it as one on your moral character and your overall mien. We wish you the greatest success in your career and in your further efforts to gain admission to medical school — somewhere else.

Sincerely,

The Admissions Committee

Ingolstadt Medical University

Image Source / Public Domain