Scientific retractions, sometimes even fraud

Scientists, particularly climate scientists on the global warming, uh, scratch that, climate change, bandwagon, like to smugly point out that their brilliant conclusions are peer-reviewed. Which is supposed to make their critics drop to their knees in awe, shut up and crawl away.

Luckily, there’s Retraction Watch, a blog by two US science writers that’s pulling back the curtain on “peer-review,” by demonstrating again and again that even the most prestigious scientific journals screw up repeatedly, missing honest mistakes and even plain old fraud.

When some of these journals do discover fraud (often from their scientist readers rather than their scientist reviewers), in the form of, say, plagiarism, they do verbal acrobatics to avoid calling it what it is.

When some scientists with multiple retractions recently tried to censor the blog, its software provider WordPress, filed two lawsuits for them seeking damages. Way to go, WordPress!

3 responses to “Scientific retractions, sometimes even fraud

  1. “Scientists” – real ones and those only holding the title, I have known, cover a wide spectrum of beliefs, creativity, persistence, and most importantly, a sense of honor and decency, which keeps the sleazy ones from cheating, i.e., culling data that don’t fit their theories, plagerism. Unfortunately, the rewards to be had from cheating are all too often irresistible.

  2. I mainly knew the academic ones, whose stuff I wrote about in the biz. Almost all of them were Democrats and atheists. They lived and died by their mainly federal grants. And some of them liked to ride on band wagons, like the global warming bunch, because there’s lots of federal money available for adding new bricks to the climate change wall. I never met one who admitted he was afraid to find contrary evidence on any subject but none of them wanted to do anything to stop the flow of federal money.

  3. So true. Academia in general has developed into a huge mass of a Mutual Admiration Society, who cover each others’ back. The maxim of “follow the money” (cui bono) should always apply. It’s just the Y2K scam writ large.