Originally posted by dbrandt
OK, some scientists/researchers/Drs. are found to have lied and acted inappropriately, but they are not to be blamed or at fault for their own
actions. That doesn't make any sense to pass the blame onto others and try to find a conspiracy in it. Everyone is accountable for their own
dbrandt, can you explain what you mean? Your statement seems contradictory - the second and third sentence seems to be opposite of what you said in
the first sentence. Was the first sentence just sarcasm? I'm just asking because it is unclear to me what you are trying to say. Thanks.
To further illustrate my original point, here
is a similar
article, explaining the reasons
in which this very small, insignificant
percentage of people are falsifying data:
David Wright, a Michigan State University professor who has researched why scientists cheat, said there are some basic reasons: some sort of
mental disorder; inadequate mentoring; and, most commonly, tremendous and increasing professional pressure to publish studies.
I also saw in another article (which I can't find right now or I'd link that too) that some scientists learn different methods if they are from
different countries. Therefore, I contend that the very small insignificant
percentage of scientists that falsified data may not
fault if the reasons fall under the category of "inadequate mentoring" or "differing methods" (because of learning something differently). How is
it "cheating" (to use the terminology of the quote above) when one's advisor and mentor has given them the wrong information? I wouldn't call
that cheating, I would call that a mistake - an honest one, at that.
Also, we don't know what very small insignificant
percentage of the already very small insignificant
percentage of identified
"cheaters" account for each of these categories. Seems to me that the actual
"cheaters" (those in the "mental disorder" and "under
pressure" categories) would be an even smaller and more insignificant
percentage than indicated by this so-called discovery.
Pieman, you make an interesting point here:
Originally posted by pieman
the fact that people get upset because 1.5% of scientists admitted to fluffing doesn't indicate a attept to invalidate scientist's, it is merely a
result of the ammount of trust placed upon you.
I hadn't thought of it that way, which is why I asked the question - I'm glad to get differing points of view! Let me add to what you're saying
here by stating that, though what you say may be true, there are people who are dishonest in all aspects of their lives, particularly in their
careers. I wonder how this percentage stacks up against the business world, for instance?
What bothers me about the whole thing are comments in the press like this:
The story itself is more common than most people might realize.
While the cases are high-profile, scientists have been cheating for decades.
It seems like an attempt by the media outlets (most of which are controlled by conservative deep pocketed corporations and their friends) are
attempting to make more out of the story than it really is. Yes, there are dishonest people in all
facets of life, and that includes
scientists - yes, that means decades ago too, maybe even longer - science has been around for centuries! Why does that mean this should make
headlines? The study results on how often this occurs were insignificant
, meaning that this study holds no interest, scientifically or
otherwise. If I did a study telling you that 1.5% of the trees in the forest had died, would you care? What about a 1.5% unemployment rate? Or how
about a 1.5% tax rate? No matter how you slice it, that number is too small to matter, considering that there is error associated with any statistical
data. It is not possible to conduct a survey like this without error. Usually the error is in the neighborhood of about 5%, which means that there
is no way that the results have a leg to stand on. And still, when the report went out about this two weeks ago, it didn't grab headlines, so it was
re-released to make sure that it did. It just doesn't sit right with me.
Now, it is true that there is something to be concerned about - particularly when the scientists in question might be working for, say, your
neighborhood pharmaceutical company! Or how about a scientific consultant that works for an oil company? In fact, mix business
other field of study
and you've got the potential for unethical behavior. Why? Simply put, greed
. Money and science don't mix very
well. When the pharmaceutical companies stand to make millions or billions of dollars off the patenting of a drug, they are going to say or do
anything to get it on the market - even if it puts your
health at risk. It is partly to blame with what is wrong with our medical industry in
this country...but that is another post entirely, so I won't go off on that tangent anymore. I think I made my point.
In conclusion, I'd just like to state that it appears to me that conservatives, particularly those religious conservatives, who are against the
progression of science (perhaps for the reasons outlined by Pieman), are attempting to debunk the value of valid scientific findings and evidence
because of a very small minority of dishonest people identified by a study that holds no water.
If you have anything else to add, I'd sure like to hear it!