:> Science is a process. Peer-reviewing is part of it.
: Peer-review is part of the publishing process in any
: number of fields, scientific or not.
: Publication is NOT part of the scientific process. A
: scientist can do perfectly good science all by himself,
: (e.g. Gregor Mendel) but obviously no one benefits
: from it without publication.
: Regardless, publication is a separate activity.
Weeeelllllll ... you're wrong. Mostly.
Mutual interchange of ideas, guesses, facts, hypotheses, etc. IS a regular
part of scientific work. Sure, some lone scientists did good work
in complete isolation, with no knowledge of what others
(contemporaneous or historically prior) did, but those are
few and far between, and for good reason. (To take your example of Mendel,
he was basing his work on millennia of selective crop breeding, as well
as his university training. He published his work, and presented it at
scientific conferences, though it was was ignored for several decades.
He's not quite the lone untrained genius some make him out to be).
It's true that this interchange can happen in a variety of ways --
from conversation in a room to formally published, publicly available
journals and books.
But the evaluation process that is formalized in peer-review
realy isn't some tangential activity (like, say, doing popular TV
science shows, or writing press releases, is). It's a central mechanism
for two things: getting ideas and results out where other scientists can see
and use them; and trying to make sure that standards are maintained (for
experimental rigor, for addressing previous work, acknowledgment or prior