CommComm posted on September 24, 2012 20:42

I don't know what's better, the time spent time rummaging through this article's detailed proclamations about scientific fraud, or the rather lengthy commentary at the bottom. As "graphic" a picture as the author draws, the comments reveal an equally passionate amalgamation of thoughts and sensitivities. First and foremost is the conclusion that misconduct is far more rampant than we're led to believe. Also, the pressure of publishing and recognition drive the undercurrent (or does "underbelly" sound greasy and criminal?) of shady conduct---and what a strong current it appears to be.

 

Ahhh, much like life, someone has their hooks in the Scientific community. New discoveries along with overwhelming bodies of evidence to support MORE new discoveries and MORE research and funding---are dangling carrots that attract rational people to, shall we say,  fudge the details. In this case, Psychology takes it on the chin, but (especially judging by the comments) the villainy operates without regard for boundaries or disciplines.

 

Starting with, oh shall we say----the beginning of civilization, the public has maintained a love/hate relationship with Science. Yes, we all love the goodies it provides, but for a variety of reasons, we've sometimes taken issues with the trust element. Look no further than any Sci-fi B-movie since the creation of Hollywood. You'll see all too clearly examples of Science or Scientists gone Mad. Out of control. "Gross stereotypes" you say. Yes. But while these are perhaps extreme examples, the mistrust blueprint seems to fall well within the parameters of these celluloid spectacles. Prove my point---ask your neighbor about any scientific issue of the day. You'll find a rainbow of observations that trace a colorful spectrum of public trust. 

 

The levels of misconduct represented in these articles showcase a cross-pollination of factors. With all the "pressure to perform," how will Science treat these missteps?  If the diagnosis becomes more widespread, can the doctor treat himself?

 

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu 


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