Scientific Objectivity


Bias and Fraud in Science

by the Editors


The problems in science today –
and what needs to change.

NIH Disclosure Rules Falter
Sara Reardon, Nature News, 15 September 2015
“Still, [former U.S. Senate staffer Paul] Thacker says, there is a clear need for closer scrutiny. This is backed up by evidence showing that studies funded by private sources, such as drug firms, more often produce results that benefit the funder than do publicly funded studies. And Thacker has little sympathy for universities’ complaints. ‘It just shows that they still don’t get what the problem is,’ he says. ‘They’re in this place today because they’ve failed to create confidence for the public in the past.'”

Be Careful, Your Love Of Science Looks A Lot Like Religion
Jamie Holmes, Quartz, August 11, 2015
“Deep faith in science is sometimes just another form of (irrational) extremism.”

The Trouble With Scientists
Philip Ball, Nautilus, May 14, 2015
“How one psychologist is tackling human biases in science.”

Problems with scientific research:
How science goes wrong

The Economist, October 19, 2013
“Scientific research has changed the world.
Now it needs to change itself.”

Publication prejudices:
An experimental study of confirmatory bias in the peer review system

Michael J. Mahoney, Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1977
(Cognitive Therapy and Research, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1977, p. 161-175.
Full text here.)

Trial by Peers Comes up Short
Sophie Petit-Zeman, The Guardian, January 16, 2003
“Sophie Petit-Zeman examines the 200-year practice of peer review.”

Improving ERC Ethical Standards
Helga Nowotny and Pavel Exner, Science, September 6, 2013
Helga Nowotny is president of the ERC (European Research Council).
Pavel Exner is vice-president of the ERC and chair of the ERC
Scientific Council Standing Committee on Conflict of Interest,
Scientific Misconduct and Ethics.

The Mind of a Con Man
Yudhijit Bhattacharee, The New York Times, April 26, 2013
“Diederik Stapel, a Dutch social psychologist, perpetrated an
audacious academic fraud by making up studies that told
the world what it wanted to hear about human nature.”

Fraud Case Seen as a Red Flag for Psychology Research
Benedict Carey, The New York Times, November 2, 2011

Challenging Medical Ghostwriting in U.S. Courts
Xavier Bosch, Bijan Esfandiari, and Leemon McHenry,
PLOS, January 24, 2012 (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001163)

Scientific Pride and Prejudice
Michael Suk-Young Chwe, The New York Times, January 31, 2014
“Science is in crisis, just when we need it most.”

New Truths That Only One Can See
George Johnson, The New York Times, January 20, 2014

The Trouble With ‘Scientific’ Research Today:
A Lot That’s Published Is Junk

Henry I. Miller and S. Stanley Young, Forbes, January 8, 2014

Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science
David H. Freedman, The Atlantic, November 2010
“Much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is
misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong. So why are doctors —
to a striking extent — still drawing upon misinformation
in their everyday practice? Dr. John Ioannidis has spent his
career challenging his peers by exposing their bad science.”

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False
John P. A. Ioannidis, PLOS, August 30, 2005

How science selects for perseverance and sociability
at the expense of intelligence and creativity.

B.G. Charlton, Medical Hypotheses, March 2009
(Med Hypotheses. 2009 Mar;72(3):237-43. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.11.020. Epub 2008 Dec 12.)

Laboratory Confidential:
Should scientists be more forthcoming about their flaws?

Michelle Nijhuis, Slate, May 7, 2012

Good Scientist! You Get a Badge.
Carl Zimmer, Slate, August 14, 2012
“Precious research money is wasted on unreal results,
but we can change the culture of science.”

Companies win U.S. free speech shield over scientific articles
Jonathan Stempel, Reuters, June 26, 2013

He didn’t see that coming, or did he?
Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education, 29 April 2010
Nobel-laureate physicist Brian Josephson, head of the Mind-Matter Unification Project at Cambridge, was rejected from a quantum physics conference on the de Broglie-Bohm theory on the grounds that “one of his principal research interests is the paranormal”.

Science and the Seance
Hannah Goff, BBC News, 30 August 2005
“The world’s most eminent scientists are not usually associated with the dim-lit surroundings of a clairvoyant’s parlour. But some of science’s biggest names have not only dabbled in, but been entirely convinced by the world of the seance.”

Response to Martin Gardner’s Attack on Reich and Orgone
Research in Skeptical Inquirer

James DeMeo, Director, Orgone Biophysical Research Lab, 1989

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