Skip to comments.How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review....
Posted on 05/30/2009 3:48:52 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
The frequency with which scientists fabricate and falsify data, or commit other forms of scientific misconduct is a matter of controversy. Many surveys have asked scientists directly whether they have committed or know of a colleague who committed research misconduct, but their results appeared difficult to compare and synthesize. This is the first meta-analysis of these surveys.
To standardize outcomes, the number of respondents who recalled at least one incident of misconduct was calculated for each question, and the analysis was limited to behaviours that distort scientific knowledge: fabrication, falsification, cooking of data, etc Survey questions on plagiarism and other forms of professional misconduct were excluded. The final sample consisted of 21 surveys that were included in the systematic review, and 18 in the meta-analysis.
A pooled weighted average of 1.97% (N = 7, 95%CI: 0.864.45) of scientists admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once a serious form of misconduct by any standard and up to 33.7% admitted other questionable research practices. In surveys asking about the behaviour of colleagues, admission rates were 14.12% (N = 12, 95% CI: 9.9119.72) for falsification, and up to 72% for other questionable research practices. Meta-regression showed that self reports surveys, surveys using the words falsification or fabrication, and mailed surveys yielded lower percentages of misconduct. When these factors were controlled for, misconduct was reported more frequently by medical/pharmacological researchers than others.
Considering that these surveys ask sensitive questions and have other limitations, it appears likely that this is a conservative estimate of the true prevalence of scientific misconduct.
(Excerpt) Read more at plosone.org ...
All the data is good providing it’s within the margin of grants.
The bigger problem is design of experiment where they intentionally design to hypothesis. Poor science education, particularly in soft sciences, leads to this error.
That plus having to satisfy a bureaucrat to get your funding.
My favorite form of cheating is when the eight patients in your clinical trial are not responding as you expected them to, so you find a really good reason to expel the one or two or three patients from the study who most screw up your data.
But how do we know that the scientist that did THIS research didn’t play with his data? If the answer is that a lot of scientists cheat, can any be trusted?
What exactly does he mean when he says:
...”When these factors were controlled for”...
Hey! This is a pet peeve of mine! When I hear someone state as fact “50 gazillion years ago.....” I just say “That guy pulled that number right out of his ***!!!”.
I cringe to think that back in high school, I still believed what was in science books as far as estimates of how old something was or other “facts” that are not provable. Radio active carbon dating my ***. It’s a freakin’ guess!!!
All that evolution stuff that was never presented as a theory, but as certain fact. My aunt says that back in the 50’s when she was in HS, she used to ace all the tests by regurgitating all the evolution stuff, but would write at the bottom of the test paper “I don’t care what you say, I was not evolved from any damned monkey!” or something like that. And this same spunky aunt, my favorite of course, also used to discuss creationism v. evolution with her husband (my dear dear uncle) and she said to him “If you want to think you evolved from monkeys, that’s fine, but I wasn’t.” or something close to that. She’s a pistol that one! She also told me, when entering a dive bar in daylight hours, always close one eye before entering, then when you are inside open them both. Now the eye that was closed is able to see what the heck’s going on in that dark bar. She also worked “pumping gas for The Lord” for a time in the Carter Era, when money was tight, and had a boss who was frequently passing her in tight quarters and getting a bit too rubby(not a word)against her, and she finally said “Do that again and I’ll part your hair with a crescent wrench.” But I digress,,,what were we discussing...science? I think I’ve just accidentally hijacked this thread to Freeper Island...
So what's a little data mining, filling in of empty points, or slipping alphas between friends when the results are not earthshaking, and besides, they are going to be in line with conventioal wisdom?
“If the answer is that a lot of scientists cheat, can any be trusted?”
The only sure bet is that hard scientists, by several orders of magnitude, can be trusted over, lawyers, brokers, politicians and other used car salesmen.
Spot on analysis. Someone, I cannot recall, did a study that showed that science, even highly theoretical science, was well funded privately and corporately before government stepped in.
The danger now is how do you undo it?
Of course, a dishonest broker isn't likely to kill thousands. A dishonest scientist might.
How dare you question the near infallibility of the scientific elite (and i like science). Surely temporal things like grant money have minimal influence on their conclusions regarding AGW, which we must accept as fact. Or atheistic evolution. Etc.
I was wondering when someone would mention the global warming crisis that isn’t.
Facts are just what you want them to be, don’t be bothered with having to test!
Am I missing something, or did Fanelli target scientists who had published on the subject of scientific misconduct?
You would think she (I’m guessing Daniele is a woman) would have attempted to survey scientists who hadn’t published on the topic of scientific misconduct.....
Actually, if you really want to get at the truth, you’d interview the lower-level technicians....
99.895% of those who report that Anthropogenic GoreBull Waruming is a fact...
“a dishonest broker isn’t likely to kill thousands”
Let me know after OBAMA has done his best to destroy this country and push us into a depression using WS as fellow travelers.
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