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Dishonesty in science

  1. Sep 1, 2006 #1


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    Mods please move where you think best, i could not decide.


    I have no idea about the truth of any comments in this article, if on the whole it is true then what is the answer for nonpoliticlal science, is it even
    possible? if not why should the general public trust what is siad via these offices?
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  3. Sep 1, 2006 #2


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    I am not sure which of the two parts of the essay you are referring to. The first part concerns government's, specifically the Bush Administration's, attempts to spin science by stacking expert panels under their control and ordering scientists who work for them to state things that are not true or are very slanted versions of the truth.

    The second and complementary part of the essay concerns fraudulant behavior in science, mostly being a review of a book on the subject and citing cases brought up in the book. It ends with an attack on the way the pricipal investigator system of laboratory management results in a distortion of credit assignment for research.

    As to whether you should trust the Bush Administration and its paid scientists to give the facts, well, given that they''ve been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, maybe they'll be a little more circumspect now, but I wouln'd hold my breath. The facts on global warming, effectiveness of condoms, and so on are not what the social right wong want to hear and the motivations for the Administration to spin remain great.

    As to whether you would expect the next thing you hear from a scientist to be fraudulent, i think there's a big probability against it. The fraud, while present and persistent, is small time in an enterprise that is huge. Your chances of running into it are small. And note that a lot of the stuff brought out in the book under review and in the review itself are not so much about the truth of the results, but at sculduggery in the way the results were obtained (as, plagiarism) or how credit was assigned.
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