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The Epidemic of Science Fraud
#1
This is focused on medical research, but, the facts remain, "science" is bought and paid for:

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015...-is-false/
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#2
(05-26-2015, 04:37 PM)Palladin Wrote: This is focused on medical research, but, the facts remain, "science" is bought and paid for:

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015...-is-false/

No, science(as in the entire science community) is not all fraudulently bought and paid for. Again, don't use a broad brush to automatically convict everyone in the field. It's a damned shame that there is so much academic fraud entering the science periodicals, but there are far more honest scientists than not. We are not all Evil.

Keep in mind that Richard Horton has been badly burned in the past, and he is rightly concerned. I believe this all began for him over a 1998 peer reviewed study which stated that the combination of certain vaccines tended to lead to autism. It had a profound effect on the medical community, causing a huge decrease in vaccinations. Dr Horton, after considerable time, was instrumental in having the paper withdrawn, but the damage had already been done.

He's rightly convinced that the business of scientific research has become just that: big business. And there is a lot of money to be made, prestigious academic chairs to occupy, and quick reputations to be garnered. He's to be highly commended for his crusade here. But be a little careful of what is written in his name. He's not declaring that over half of the papers published are fraudulent. He's stating that it could be, which is a little different.

Quote:“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue."

This is to get people's undivided attention because bad scientific practices are not being fixed. Further, as of yet, there is no dedicated program to root out fraud,.......yet.

Also, he is referring to the entire system, which has a ripple effect on all related studies. In other words, one falsified study can have a cascading effect on countless honest studies that relied on the veracity of that one fraudulent study.

Here's what this means:

Quote:Science is based on trust, and most researchers accept findings published in peer-reviewed journals. The studies spur others to embark on related avenues of research, so if one paper is later found to be tainted, an entire edifice of work comes into doubt. Millions of dollars' worth of private and government funding may go to waste, and, in the case of medical science, patients can be put at risk.

At the Mayo Clinic, a decade of cancer research, partly taxpayer-funded, went down the drain when the prestigious Minnesota institution concluded that intriguing data about harnessing the immune system to fight cancer had been fabricated. Seventeen scholarly papers published in nine research journals had to be retracted. A researcher, who protests his innocence, was fired.

In another major flameout, 18 research journals have said they are planning to retract a total of 89 published studies by a German anesthesiologist, many concerning a drug used for maintaining blood pressure during surgery. Authorities in Britain now are reviewing their usage guidelines as a result, and a prosecutor in Germany is conducting a criminal probe, which he says includes the possibility that data were fabricated. The anesthesiologist couldn't be reached for comment.

As Dr Horton stated earlier in Lancet,

Quote:Part of the problem is that no-one is incentivised to be right. Instead, scientists are incentivised to be productive and innovative.

And that is not a big problem if everyone plays by the rules. But some don't, and won't as long as there is no self-regulating system that rewards honesty and actually punishes fraud. And when those few cause otherwise honest papers to be tainted, everybody is affected.

The climate science field is the best example out there right now. And the worst part is that those supposed climate scientists will almost certainly never be held to account for their fraudulent activities.

But the incident below was most likely the final straw for Dr. Horton. Its in the WSJ and I will have to copy it here, because it requires subscription. This will show you why he is such a crusader on this, because it has tarnished his own reputation, being the editor of Lancet.

Quote:A Japanese researcher, Naoyuki Nakao, wondered if using both drugs at once would be even better at reducing this sign of kidney trouble. Sure enough, he reported that the combo was dramatically better than either drug alone.

The Lancet published his study, dubbed "Cooperate," in January 2003. It jumped to the No. 2 spot among the most-cited papers published by the Lancet that month and created a buzz at medical conferences.

Doctors increasingly prescribed the dual therapy. By 2008, about 140,000 patients in the U.S. were on it, according to SDI, the research firm.

But the report struck some kidney-disease specialists in Switzerland as too good to be true. The report said patients given the drug combo saw a 76% decrease in protein loss, compared with 42% with one drug by itself and 44% with the other one alone. To see such a dramatic difference was unusual, says one of the Swiss doctors, Regina Kunz, who also was dubious of a particular statistical result in the study.

"It was too perfect an effect. You wouldn't expect it with such a small sample size," says Dr. Kunz, director of the Academy of Insurance Medicine in Basel. "I think the peer reviewers should have caught it."

She and three colleagues wrote to the Lancet in 2006 urging it to look into the matter. The Lancet's editor, Dr. Horton, says the journal passed their concerns on to Dr. Nakao in Japan, who responded with some "recalculations."

The Lancet then passed all this material on an independent reviewer, who concluded in December 2006 that "it was impossible to tell whether data in the [original paper] were the result of fraud or incompetence," according to Dr. Horton.

The Lancet tried to get Dr. Nakao to respond, "but he seemed to be prevaricating," according to Dr. Horton. Dr. Nakao, now at Isekai Hospital in Osaka, declined to be interviewed.

In May 2008, the Lancet published a "letter of concern" by the Swiss doctors who had first written to the journal in 2006. The letter wondered whether certain inconsistencies were "only a case of extremely sloppy reporting or a hint towards more severe problems with the data."

The Lancet now took the matter to another outside group, a U.K. nonprofit called the Committee on Publication Ethics. According to Dr. Horton, it decided the work was incompetent rather than fraudulent.

The Lancet then wrote to a Japanese hospital where Dr. Nakao worked when he published his study. This hospital said it would do an investigation, but it would take six months.

Pressure mounted. Dr. Messerli in New York, a cardiologist, wrote to the Lancet in mid-2009 arguing that it had a "moral obligation" to withdraw the paper. The Lancet said it would await the results of the hospital investigation.

The hospital investigating committee examined medical records at another Japanese hospital where Dr. Nakao said he and his colleagues had done the research on 336 patients. But committee members "were not able to identify even a single patient who matched the contents of the paper," said Yutuka Sanada, the president of the hospital that investigated, called Showa University Fujigaoka Hospital, in Yokohama.

"Dr. Nakao was not able to explain" this, he added, but "insisted that his paper was not a fabricated one."

The investigation took until the summer of 2009, about a year after the Lancet first contacted the university hospital.

"We should have raised the alarm with the university earlier," Dr. Horton now says.

In October 2009, nearly seven years after the Lancet published the blood-pressure study and three years after questions were raised about it, the Lancet printed a retraction notice.

It said the Japanese hospital investigation had concluded that the researchers hadn't obtained proper patient consent; that they hadn't obtained approval for the study from the ethics committee of the hospital where they said the research was done; and that the involvement of a statistician in the clinical trial couldn't be verified.

The Lancet also pointed to a finding by the investigating committee that the trial wasn't "double-blind," a standard precaution in which neither researchers nor patients know who is getting what drug or placebo. Instead, the committee found that Dr. Nakao knew who was getting the drug combination and who wasn't—a situation many investigators consider tantamount to fraud.

By the time the Lancet retracted the study, concerns were growing about potential harm to patients who got the combination therapy, except in certain rare cases where patients benefited. Data from clinical trials involving high blood pressure involving diabetes, coronary heart disease and advanced age persuasively showed that any small benefits of the combination therapy were easily outweighed by the side effects.

"Even patients with uncomplicated essential hypertension were not entirely able to escape this fashionable trend" in treatment, Dr. Messerli in New York wrote in the European Heart Journal.

As often happens, the original paper had inspired clinical research by others to test the dual therapy—studies that enrolled up to 36,000 patients, according to Dr. Steen, the analyst who did a study of retractions. "If there's a bad trial out there, there will be more flawed secondary trials, which put more patients at risk," he said.

Dr. Kunz in Switzerland said the Lancet and its peer reviewers ought to have been more skeptical about the overly positive results and should have caught the statistical anomaly she noticed. "Journals all want to have spectacular results," she said. "Increasingly, they're willing to publish more risky papers."

The Lancet's Dr. Horton dismisses that notion. He says journals hit by fraud and error are becoming more conservative about publishing provocative research. But he also says journals and research institutions don't have adequate systems in place to properly investigate misconduct.

The apparent rise in scientific fraud, said Dr. Horton "is a scar on the moral body of science."
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"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#3
Here's one more science fraud, that has been pushed for decades now, and proven to be nothing but ignorance and fear.

Why butter and eggs won't kill us after all: Flawed science triggers U-turn on cholesterol fears

While this is certainly not a new revelation, it is finally getting the official action that has been needed all along.

Quote:The US Department of Agriculture panel, which has been given the task of overhauling the guidelines every five years, has indicated it will bow to new research undermining the role dietary cholesterol plays in people's heart health.
Its Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee plans to no longer warn people to avoid eggs, shellfish and other cholesterol-laden foods.

The U-turn, based on a report by the committee, will undo almost 40 years of public health warnings about eating food laden with cholesterol. US cardiologist Dr Steven Nissen, of the Cleveland Clinic, said: 'It's the right decision. We got the dietary guidelines wrong. They've been wrong for decades.'

Doctors are now shifting away from warnings about cholesterol and saturated fat and focusing concern on sugar as the biggest dietary threat.

Actually, this is not new. I stopped eating margarine well over a decade ago, and went back to real butter, due to confirming reports in certain medical journals.

This is roughly akin to the fraud perpetuated by Center for Science in the Public Interest, which started the coconut oil scare over two decades ago. And come to find out, coconut is at the top of the most healthful oil in the world. Its good attributes are legendary now. And these fraudsters are still in business, beating the sodium scare for all its worth, even when this too has been pretty much beaten down.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#4
That's true. SOME science and with the levels of cash paying for it, probably a whole lot is bought and paid for though. Like AGW, no different.

I got that study off a theology blog and the researcher of the blog made a point to demonstrate why the humanities has some fraud, but, it remains very minimal relative to science.

Because they're starving for money is why. Let the US state or some uber wealthy party start paying for theology and they'll get what they pay for.
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#5
And here's another way that science fraud is perpetuated on society. Naturally, the Whores in the Media are responsible.

Not brushing your teeth can lead to dementia and heart disease

Just throw out a title like this one, and suddenly it is picked up and eventually becomes dogma. Sort of akin to the coconut oil scare.

Obviously this is just one more opportunity for a scientific study grant, where some enterprising professional can make extra money and get his/her name in the media forefront.

What in the hell is our society coming to? Gah
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"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#6
(06-02-2015, 11:00 AM)John L Wrote: What in the hell is our society coming to? Gah

An end.

   
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#7
This may well be a great example of what we are talking about here: Detergents linked to genital defects in babies: study. And note the relatively small number of case studies, when there should be several thousand cases compared.

And where is the position paper information anyway?
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#8
John,

Do you think the medical community will change their views on taking anti cholesterol pills now? Or is this new view not THAT big of a change?
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#9
(06-06-2015, 11:48 AM)Palladin Wrote: John,

Do you think the medical community will change their views on taking anti cholesterol pills now? Or is this new view not THAT big of a change?

I haven't the slightest. Nothing surprises me in this world anymore. Shock
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#10
My cardiologist was not ready to grant me permission to dispense with my Atorvastatin, but he was willing to allow me to demonstrate that I could bring my LDL cholesterol down to an acceptable level through diet alone. I then cut back even further on the cholesterol in my diet, and my LDL cholesterol did come down to the acceptable level. So my doctor approved of my dispensing with Atorvastatin.
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#11
Yes, but, that was with the understanding you would control your cholesterol w/o Atorvastatin.

That's what I want to know, is cholesterol itself still the same "bad guy" or is this new info only telling us that eggs are not bad contributors to the overall cholesterol problem?
BTW, if you end up having to take a statin again, see if you can't convert to Lovastatin, it's dirt cheap compared to Atorvastatin.

I made the switch recently.
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#12
(06-06-2015, 01:00 AM)John L Wrote: This may well be a great example of what we are talking about here: Detergents linked to genital defects in babies: study. And note the relatively small number of case studies, when there should be several thousand cases compared.

And where is the position paper information anyway?

A good article on this Here. The actual study is linked.

Junkscience is the first place to go for this kind of rebuttal.
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#13
I have a special need to keep my LDL cholesterol level down because several years ago I had two stents implanted in my right coronary artery, and I certainly don't want any plaque buildup on the stents. I also take Clopidogrel to help prevent that. (I used to take Effient, but it is very expensive, and Medicare sent me a notice saying they would not continue to cover it, and recommended Clopidogrel as an alternative. So my doctor prescribed it in place of the Effient.) Controlling my LDL cholesterol level was fairly simple. It meant eating vegan most of the time. Once in a while I can eat something like eggs or cheese, maybe even some turkey, or fish. But most of the time I stick with vegetarian foods. (Only animal products have cholesterol. Fish is high in the good HDL cholesterol, and tends to stimulate the body to get rid of LDL cholesterol--which is naturally produced in the body.)
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#14
Check out the state of peer review. Publishers are investing a good deal of money on software to identify SCIgen created papers. I can't remember the name of the counter software. But in another article similar to this ... I think it may have been in Wired ... the main point was the absurdity of publishers having to develop countermeasures to mask the fact that scientific papers aren't undergoing peer review by publishers. It's a big bright neon sign that says anything piece of garbage can make it into the most 'respected' of Journals ... who advertizes their own stupidity and incompetence? Couldn't they at least afford to hire a small pool of High School kids that actually read the first few paragraphs of the papers that are submitted.

John, with regards to gum disease and it's effects, this does not seem at all implausible to me. Chronic inflammation can do all sorts of terrible things to the body ... and your mouth and gums are pretty much a main line into your blood stream. Usually these scams involve selling fairly expensive products, therapies and Rx's ... but floss is very cheap.
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#15
(06-07-2015, 08:34 PM)mr_yak Wrote: John, with regards to gum disease and it's effects, this does not seem at all implausible to me. Chronic inflammation can do all sorts of terrible things to the body ... and your mouth and gums are pretty much a main line into your blood stream. Usually these scams involve selling fairly expensive products, therapies and Rx's ... but floss is very cheap.

I'm sorry Jack, but I'm not following you here. I don't remember saying anything about "gum diseases".
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#16
(06-07-2015, 09:52 PM)John L Wrote: I'm sorry Jack, but I'm not following you here. I don't remember saying anything about "gum diseases".

(06-02-2015, 11:00 AM)John L Wrote: Not brushing your teeth can lead to dementia and heart disease
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#17
Ok, I'd just moved on beyond that one. If you would, why don't you link to the post, if its somewhere back in the pack. That way I won't expose my lack of attention span to one and all. S5
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#18
There was a long period of time when tobacco companies could pay scientists to say favorable things about the health "benefits" of tobacco. It took quite a long time for the harmfulness of tobacco to become fully settled science.

I remember a time about 40 years ago when nutrition "experts" loudly pontificated about how no adults needed to supplement their diet with zinc, that supposedly adults did not need zinc. It took ten or 15 years for it to finally become recognized that zinc is essential to the reproductive health of adult males. But did anyone ever offer apologies for the wrong propaganda of the previous decades? Did any of those nutritionist pundits ever admit they had been wrong? No.

Likewise, I remember that right about the same time, nutrition and health pundits were loudly proclaiming that no adult needed vitamid D. They said the vitamin was used by the thalmus gland, which deteriorates in adults. Now, of course, it is generally recognized that vitamin D is needed for proper utilization of calcium. My own doctor prescribes vitamin D3 to help combat osteoporosis. But there is utter silence when it comes to acknowledging what wrong advice used to be accepted "science."

And you all already know what I think about the massive fraud constituted by the theory of evolution, which in so many ways is provably not valid science--but those who wish to be blind to the truth remain blind to the truth, and who knows how long it will take for Intelligent Design to become the settled science it deserves to be.
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#19
Luddites amuse me. Remember when popcorn at the movies was the best ever? It was made with coconut oil. It got poo-poohed as evil and unhealthy, and to this day, you cannot find popcorn with Coconut oil anywhere. Now it's good for you.

I make an effort to visit "JunkScience.com" regularly. Think of all the bad things that have occurred in the name of being politically-correct: banning DDT, banning irradiation of food, calling coffee bad for you ...You name it - whatever some authority, including Leviticus and many religions say, just do the opposite and you're more likely to get it right.
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#20
Ron,

Pretty much, what you described vis a vis tobacco companies is happening in many areas,including those funded by the state.

At the ORNL, we have a section researching AGW( of course).

It makes no logic that this group will publish a paper that debunks AGW. That would lead to funding going away, you would be the weirdo if you made the argument among your peers and several very highly paid scientists lose their jobs, it simply is not going to happen.

100 years from now, the same crap will be found or until someone stops sending them money with a mandate to say what the zeitgeist wants to hear.
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