DailyDirt: Bad Science Is Coming to Get Us
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Scientific publishing has been a lucrative industry in recent years, even though scientists have faced increasing competition over limited funding. The publish-or-perish academic model may be contributing to an increase in scientific fraud, but maybe the increased accessibility of digital journals is simply making it easier for honest mistakes to be caught. The scientific method is supposed to weed out incorrect conclusions, but there may be a lot of wasted effort as scientists try to replicate experiments that are just completely fictitious. It gets harder and harder to make decisions based on evidence — if there is growing uncertainty that any evidence can be trusted….
- The number of retractions from scientific journals has increased tenfold over the past decade. But it’s not clear how much is misconduct and how much is honest scientific mistake… [url]
- Data detective Uri Simonsohn has published his statistical methods for exposing the suspicious data of social psychologists. Lies, damn lies and statistics… but at least statistics can be used to ferret out the lies. [url]
- Apparently, the UK is notorious for its bad science journalism. We’re talking “labvertisements” — industry/product-funded science stories about (possibly fake) studies conducted by questionable scientists with dubious methods. But at least they’re honest about it and take their research with a huge grain of salt. The US just re-packages many of these reports as serious news. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.
Filed Under: academia, data, fraud, mistakes, publishing, retractions, science, statistics
Comments on “DailyDirt: Bad Science Is Coming to Get Us”
academia as we know it now may perish...
The Khan academy and all the other online educational tools are making meatspace lecturers a bit obsolete. Who needs to sit in a huge auditorium and listen to some old person trying to talk and write on a chalkboard at the same time?
Re: academia as we know it now may perish...
“but at least statistics can be used to ferret out the lies.”
It’s like rock-paper-scissors!
Lies are flashier than statistics,
Damn lies are more impressive than lies,
Statistics reveal damn lies!
Probably mostly mistakes. Science gets more and more complex, as does engineering. Newbies in the respective field have a harder time getting up to speed.
Don’t rule out fraud.
So much for those who put their faith in science.
Science and the pursuit of knowledge have revealed to us many things.
What is the alternative?
And don’t say story books written thousands of years ago.
So much for those who misunderstand that which they abhor.
“Faith” and “science” are mutually exclusive things. People doing science, the results of scientific investigation, fraud, etc., are not the scientific method, with which there is nothing wrong. Mistakes are how we learn.
More generally WRT the article, you know scientific papers have to be published before anyone knows about them, allowing for replication of experiments. This is how science is done.
Really, papers which have been shown to be simply mistaken should not be removed, but amended to show where the damn mistakes were made. Those that moved forward despite knowledge of error without correction, and outright frauds, should be retracted with an analysis of fraud or the bad science put in its place.
Beyond that, screw the majority of the current journal system, which has everything to do with publishers, and little to do with actual science, although scientists are forced to depend on publishing for more bad reasons than good.
Re: Re: Re:
No, faith and science are not mutually exclusive. To understand why, we must first abandon the invalid notion that faith is mustered up belief in the improvable.
Having done that, we can move forward and learn that faith is a mixture of trust and belief. Therefore, faith has three axioms:
(1) The object or target of faith.
(2) The belief system of facts or axioms related to the object.
(3) The works, or actions as a result of (1) and (2).
Any scientist, before ever attempting to prove an hypothesis (an object), must first demonstrate trust and belief (faith) that the hypothesis is most likely provable, otherwise, an experiment (works) will never be performed.
Should it later be demonstrated (via works) that the hypothesis was not provable, then the hypothesis and what ever trust and belief that was previously held, is discarded.
Which means, the faith object was not valid.
Conversely, when the hypothesis is proven, we move out of faith into knowledge – which is the point of faith: it is the stepping stone that moves us from belief and trust into knowledge. E.g., I don’t need faith to sit in a chair: experience has proven that most chairs will hold me.
Re: Re: Re: Re:
Apparently you do not understand science
If you get your science news in the UK from the daily mail what do you expect?
Isaac Newton, for example, was a man of faith AND of science.