Junk science - worthless theories or data presented as fact - can be found everywhere, from scientific journals to media reports. It’s become a profitable industry, where scheming researchers get taxpayer-funded grants to find specific conclusions, then those manipulated and fake conclusions are reported back to the public as if they are real. -Ashe Schow
“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert.”
– J Robert Oppenheimer.
Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history… When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”
– UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh
The pressure to succeed, measured by publications, is sometimes blamed for leading less-scrupulous scientists to break the rules. A new paper by Morton Oskvold, a Norwegian scientist, will fan those flames, as it makes the bold claim that 25 percent of cancer biology papers contain duplicated data. Is something rotten in our research labs?
-Jonathan M. Gitlin
Data massaging can take many forms. It can mean simply excluding “outliers” — unusually high or low data points — from an analysis to generate findings that more strongly support the hypothesis. It also includes moving the goal posts: that is, mining the data for results first, and then writing the paper as if the experiment had been an attempt to find just those effects. “You have exploratory findings, and you’re pitching them as ‘I knew this all along,’ as confirmatory,” Dr. Nosek said.
The students wrote a simple computer program that churned out gobbledegook and presented it as an academic paper. They put their names on one of the papers, sent it to a conference, and promptly had it accepted. The sting, in 2005, revealed a farce that lay at the heart of science.
Government, Character, Financial, Fraud, Science, Academia
Duke University is paying the U.S. government $112.5 million to settle accusations that it submitted bogus data to win federal research grants.M/b> The settlement will also bring a $33.75 million payment to Joseph Thomas, the whistleblower who drew attention to the fraud when he worked for Duke.
Thomas, a former Duke lab analyst, sued the university on behalf of the federal government, saying that a Duke researcher fudged data to help the university win and keep lucrative grants from two agencies, the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency...
In a letter to the university's community, Price said, "This is a difficult moment for Duke. Citing the "devastating impact of research fraud," he also said the school had taken numerous steps to encourage scientific integrity, improve training and archive research data.
Fraud, Science, Oops, Lie
A cancer researcher in Texas has been caught red-handed after fraudulently using her own blood in place of samples from nearly 100 other people.
Maria Cristina Miron Elqutub, a former research assistant at the University of Texas's MD Anderson Cancer Centre, has admitted she falsely substituted and labelled her own blood to represent samples taken from 98 participants in a cancer genetics study.
According to the US Office of Research Integrity (ORI), Elqutub "intentionally and knowingly" fabricated the samples, and while no patients are thought to have been directly affected, the deception is having a definite impact.
That's because the data Elqutub falsified ended up being used in two published studies – one in the journal Cancer, the other in PLOS One – which involved hundreds of cancer patients alongside hundreds of other healthy control subjects.
Incompetence, Fraud, Science, Un, Oops, Healthcare
The World Health Organization’s cancer agency dismissed and edited findings from a draft of its review of the weedkiller glyphosate that were at odds with its final conclusion that the chemical probably causes cancer...
One effect of the changes to the draft, reviewed by Reuters in a comparison with the published report, was the removal of multiple scientists’ conclusions that their studies had found no link between glyphosate and cancer in laboratory animals...
In another, a sentence in the draft referenced a pathology report ordered by experts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It noted the report “firmly” and “unanimously” agreed that the “compound” – glyphosate – had not caused abnormal growths in the mice being studied. In the final published IARC monograph, this sentence had been deleted.
Environmentalist, Government, Incompetence, Fraud, Science, Narrative, Oops, Experts, Waste, Lie, Corruption
Nearly two decades and $108 million worth of “disturbing” data manipulation with “serious and far ranging” effects forced a federal lab to close, a congressman revealed Thursday. The inorganic section of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Energy Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood, Colo. manipulated data on a variety of topics – including many related to the environment – from 1996 to 2014. The manipulation was caught in 2008, but continued another six years...
“Tell me what you want and I will get it for you. What we do is like magic,” a former USGS official told auditors a former employee linked to the manipulation would say, according to Westerman.
Retractions of scientific papers have increased about tenfold during the past decade, with many studies crumbling in cases of high-profile research misconduct that ranges from plagiarism to image manipulation to outright data fabrication.
Environmentalist, Hypocrisy, Warming, Tax, Character, Financial, Fraud, Science, Oops, Greed, Justice
Climate scientist Daniel Alongi has been indicted by the Australian government on charges of defrauding taxpayers out of $556,000 in false expenses since 2008. Alongi has already admitted to creating false invoices, credit card statements, and e-mails to cover his misappropriation of funds.
I think we should have a cunning plan about what to do this year...
"Remember all the fun we had last year over 1995 global temperatures, with early release of information (via Oz), “inventing” the December monthly value, letters to Nature etc etc? I think we should have a cunning plan about what to do this year…"
Incompetence, Funny, Fraud, Science, Oops, Hoax
Two major scientific publishers are in the process of removing some 120 papers from their web pages, after it was revealed that these were computer-generated gibberish, according to the journal Nature, another scientific publisher that was not affected by the hoax.
Science, Narrative, Corruption
“Nobody had noticed the whole thing was rotten,” said Dr. Fang, who is a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Fang became curious how far the rot extended. To find out, he teamed up with a fellow editor at the journal, Dr. Arturo Casadevall of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. And before long they reached a troubling conclusion: not only that retractions were rising at an alarming rate, but that retractions were just a manifestation of a much more profound problem — “a symptom of a dysfunctional scientific climate,” as Dr. Fang put it. Dr. Casadevall, now editor in chief of the journal mBio, said he feared that science had turned into a winner-take-all game with perverse incentives that lead scientists to cut corners and, in some cases, commit acts of misconduct.