Wednesday, June 08, 2005

1 in 3 Scientists Commit Misconduct - Prof. Corey Fired


Prof. Irwin Corey was fired his first day at work when it was discovered by researchers that Philip A. Cooney, chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was simply correcting errors.

Mark in Mexico was idlely sending his Prof. Corey trackbacks to rabidly lefty bloggers just to irritate them when he stumbled upon a group grope called KaralaNext News. The first news story that your intrepid idler spied was
One in three U.S. scientists say they break rules.
I thought it was a joke. I had just spent an hour reading parts of vicious anti-Bush screeds over the editing of global warming reports by Mr. Cooney including one on KaralaNext itself. I scroll down 2 inches on their page and their entire thesis blows up in their face(s).

HealthPartners Research Foundation, funded by the British magazine "Nature", conducted a research project which Nature released today.
One in three scientists confesses to having sinned. Misconduct ranges from faking results outright to dropping suspect data points.
I would have had to have purchased a membership to get to the article in Nature, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune had the goods, irritating signup page, only, required.
The survey, of more than 3,200 U.S. scientists, found that hardly anyone admitted to falsifying data outright.

But a surprising 33 percent confessed to other kinds of misconduct -- such as claiming credit for someone else's work, or changing results because of pressure from a study's sponsor.

The survey indicates that the misconduct involves more than a "few bad apples," said the lead author, Brian Martinson.
"Our findings suggest that U.S. scientists engage in a range of behaviors extending far beyond falsification, fabrication and plagiarism that can damage the integrity of science," the authors report in today's issue of the British journal Nature.
A significant number --15 percent -- said they had changed the design, methods or results of a study in response to pressure from a financial sponsor.
And 6 percent said that they failed to report data that contradicted their previous work.

Martinson said this was the first survey of its kind, so it is not known whether the conduct is growing more common.

If anything, he said, the survey probably underestimates the misconduct, because some scientists may have feared discovery if they admitted their actions.
The survey results came as a surprise to R. Timothy Mulcahy, vice president for research at the University of Minnesota. He called it "a very important study," but said that some of the categories of misconduct may not be as black or white as they seem.

"I think there are a lot of gray zones," he said. Scientists may not always realize they're crossing a line, he said, and universities should do a better job training them in research ethics.
Well I guess we should all consider ourselves fortunate that Mr. Cooney is not a scientist or he could have done a lot more than "soften" the purported greenhouse gas links; one chance in three.

Linked to these non-scientists: NewsHog, Tom Maguire, Avedon Carol, Ezra Klein, MahaBlog, Joe Gandelman, Desert Island Boy, Running Scared, Left Coaster, John Cole, Road to Surfdom, Larre@LeftCoaster, Kevin Drum, Soto@LeftCoaster, Daai Tou Laam Diary, LazyCat, Rob's Blog, Secondary Worlds, Dr. Forbush, NewFloating, Hughes for America, Faerie Wizard's Tower, Liberal Serving, Life In Bush's America, Random Ravings, Red Wheelbarrow,

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