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The recent explosion in the number of retractions in scientific journals is just the tip of the iceberg and a symptom of a greater dysfunction that has been evolving the world of biomedical research say the editors-in-chief of two prominent journals in a presentation before a committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) today....
...In the past decade the number of retraction notices for scientific journals has increased more than 10-fold while the number of journals articles published has only increased by 44%. While retractions still represent a very small percentage of the total, the increase is still disturbing because it undermines society’s confidence in scientific results and on public policy decisions that are based on those results, says Casadevall.
In this regard it is worth remembering that Ph.D. degrees granted in the natural sciences are actually Doctorates of Philosophy. However, scientific training today does not include significant instruction in philosophy despite the critical importance of the philosophical branches of logic, epistemology, and ethics to science. In fact, there are numerous instances in which philosophical thought has greatly influenced scientific discovery and vice versa. Einstein credited the philosopher Immanuel Kant with inspiration that led to the theory of relativity, and Einstein's scientific contributions have in turn influenced philosophy
Conservatives, particularly those with college educations, have become dramatically more skeptical of science over the past four decades, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Sociological Review. Fewer than 35 percent of conservatives say they have a "great deal" of trust in the scientific community now, compared to nearly half in 1974.
Originally posted by silent thunder
The author goes on to write: "The root of the problem is a lack of sufficient resources to sustain the current enterprise. Too many researchers are competing for too little funding, creating a survival-of-the-fittest, winner-take-all environment where researchers increasingly feel pressure to publish, especially in high-prestige journals."
Well, this makes sense to me, that this would be the case. Money corrupts. The more money, the more likely the corruption. Biomed and bioscience is big money at the moment.
So which is it: do you agree with the author that there is too little money in the system, or do you think it is too much?
During a decade as head of global cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 ‘landmark’ publications — papers in top journals, from reputable labs — for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development. Result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated. He described his findings in a commentary piece published on Wednesday in the journal Nature (paywalled) . … But they and others fear the phenomenon is the product of a skewed system of incentives that has academics cutting corners to further their careers.