November 29, 2012 at 9:27 AM
The sad state of modern science
Two stories today illustrate the levels of corruption that now percolate 
through many fields of science, helped by a willing and sometimes ignorant 
First, a final report has been issued in the investigation into the fraudulent 
research of social psychologist Diederik Stapel. Sadly, it appears the report 
condemns the entire field:

[The investigators] paint an image of a “sloppy” research culture in which some 
scientists don’t understand the essentials of statistics, journal-selected 
article reviewers encourage researchers to leave unwelcome data out of their 
papers, and even the most prestigious journals print results that are obviously 
too good to be true.
Worse, three different universities participated in Stapel’s fraud, and never 
noticed. At least 25 of Stapel’s papers have now been retracted.
Then there is this article about an investigation into the lack of scientific 
merit of a paper that claimed that genetically modified maize caused tumors in 
rats. Apparently, according to European scientific authorities, the paper had 
no merit and did not meet the basics of scientific research. Nor was this 
investigation the first to come to this conclusion.
First, that the paper got published in a peer reviewed journal in the first 
place says a great deal about that journal’s standards. Second, when first 
published the paper had been condemned immediately but a number of scientists. 
yet it apparently received tons of adoring press coverage, probably because it 
provided evidence for the politically correct position that genetically 
modified agriculture is bad. Both facts suggest that this is another case, 
similar to that of the climate field, where scientists allowed politics to 
badly influence their judgement.
All in all, not a good day for science and its reputation.
Comments (8) 

[Roger Clough], []
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen

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