Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The Daily Beast)   OSHA asks any scientists submitting research to the agency, to disclose who paid for their research to ensure it is unbiased. Naturally Congressional Republicans have a HUGE problem with this   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 93
    More: Asinine, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, tobacco industry, Justice David Souter  
•       •       •

2222 clicks; posted to Politics » on 27 Mar 2014 at 12:59 PM (43 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



93 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2014-03-27 12:40:24 PM  
I've been trying to come with some devil's advocate argument for why revealing donors who have a potential stake in the outcome of the research might damage the research, but I really can't come up with one. If you think the research is important enough to fund, and you are interested in sound science and not paying for an answer, I can't think of any reason that having someone know you funded the study would harm you.

And even if there were some reason I can't currently imagine, if you fund the research anonymously then nobody knows who you are, so the research can't be influenced by your donation, and you protect your identity.
 
2014-03-27 12:48:04 PM  
As long as it stands up to thorough peer review, I'd be less concerned about who funded it. I would want to know in the interest of full disclosure, I think, but as long as it was peer reviewed and stood up to proper scrutiny, the funding issue becomes secondary.
 
2014-03-27 01:03:08 PM  

Nabb1: As long as it stands up to thorough peer review, I'd be less concerned about who funded it. I would want to know in the interest of full disclosure, I think, but as long as it was peer reviewed and stood up to proper scrutiny, the funding issue becomes secondary.


So you don't mind if some multibillion dollar oil company funds an anti-climate change study?

You don't see the slightest bit of conflict of interest there?

Of course you don't.
 
2014-03-27 01:04:17 PM  
Now wait, congressional Republicans are demanding down to the penny accounting from people who got grants for Health Care Navigators... but THIS is too much for them?
 
2014-03-27 01:09:43 PM  

Misch: Now wait, congressional Republicans are demanding down to the penny accounting from people who got grants for Health Care Navigators... but THIS is too much for them?


Well, after all, they've sworn a hypocritic oath.
 
2014-03-27 01:09:46 PM  

nmrsnr: I've been trying to come with some devil's advocate argument for why revealing donors who have a potential stake in the outcome of the research might damage the research, but I really can't come up with one.


If I can't reproduce the research for myself, I'm pretty likely to see a funding source generating a conflict of interest and get very skeptical, at a minimum. Which is a good thing.
 
2014-03-27 01:10:46 PM  
Is there anything Republicans don't have a problem with?
 
2014-03-27 01:11:52 PM  

Mentat: Is there anything Republicans don't have a problem with?


Military spending
 
2014-03-27 01:13:57 PM  

Misch: Now wait, congressional Republicans are demanding down to the penny accounting from people who got grants for Health Care Navigators... but THIS is too much for them?


You don't see a difference in asking how the public's money is spent versus requiring disclosure of how private funds are spent?
 
2014-03-27 01:14:46 PM  

Mentat: Is there anything Republicans don't have a problem with?


Tax cuts, cutting social services, anything that might actually help people.
 
2014-03-27 01:15:13 PM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: Misch: Now wait, congressional Republicans are demanding down to the penny accounting from people who got grants for Health Care Navigators... but THIS is too much for them?

You don't see a difference in asking how the public's money is spent versus requiring disclosure of how private funds are spent?


When the research influences public policy and government organizations?  Nope.
 
2014-03-27 01:15:19 PM  
These conservatives are the same guys who say climate change science is biased because it was paid for by special interests.

One day there will be something that conservatives claim to believe that will actually be based on consistent principles.

This is not the day.
 
2014-03-27 01:16:36 PM  

nmrsnr: I've been trying to come with some devil's advocate argument for why revealing donors who have a potential stake in the outcome of the research might damage the research, but I really can't come up with one. If you think the research is important enough to fund, and you are interested in sound science and not paying for an answer, I can't think of any reason that having someone know you funded the study would harm you.

And even if there were some reason I can't currently imagine, if you fund the research anonymously then nobody knows who you are, so the research can't be influenced by your donation, and you protect your identity.



It harms them because then they can't buy research and then falsely present it as the work of a completely independent, impartial third party.

That's what these GOP scumbags are making a stand against.
 
2014-03-27 01:17:22 PM  

Tomahawk513: The_Six_Fingered_Man: Misch: Now wait, congressional Republicans are demanding down to the penny accounting from people who got grants for Health Care Navigators... but THIS is too much for them?

You don't see a difference in asking how the public's money is spent versus requiring disclosure of how private funds are spent?

When the research influences public policy and government organizations?  Nope.


ESPECIALLY a report from the private sector, isn't this obvious why?
 
2014-03-27 01:18:12 PM  

nmrsnr: I've been trying to come with some devil's advocate argument for why revealing donors who have a potential stake in the outcome of the research might damage the research, but I really can't come up with one.


Try this: in this hyperpartisan environment, initial appearance is often elevated over substance. Just being associated with a hot button group or issue can cause an instant and vitriolic reaction from the other side -- see, e.g., the bashing that the Koch Brothers took over making a substantial donation to a NY Hospital. (Ignore the hyperbole by the article headline and author, and just take it for face value.) In short, the messenger sometimes has an unfortunate tendency to overshadow the message.

If we do away with identifying the messenger -- that is, the identification of the person or entity funding the research -- we remove the distraction of fighting over the messenger and can focus solely on the quality of the message. Really, that's what science is about: the value of the data, not the identity of the person supplying it. If a study is scientifically-valid, the fact that it was paid for by a partisan or a non-partisan shouldn't matter. And if a study is biased, scientists should be able to ascertain that through more science, rather than leaping to the conclusion that it is invalid simply because of who funded it.

/not saying I believe this, but there's a colorable justification for taking that position.
 
2014-03-27 01:19:11 PM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: You don't see a difference in asking how the public's money is spent versus requiring disclosure of how private funds are spent?


Check and mate, libtards. Corporations have the right to privacy just as you yourself do. Would you want some government Poindexter checking out to see if you wrote a six million dollar check to fund a giant marketing scheme dressed-up like actual real scientific data that would affect public policy? Of course you wouldn't, and neither would PACs or corporations. Study it out, it's a First Amendment issue for sure.
 
2014-03-27 01:19:21 PM  

Chummer45: nmrsnr: I've been trying to come with some devil's advocate argument for why revealing donors who have a potential stake in the outcome of the research might damage the research, but I really can't come up with one. If you think the research is important enough to fund, and you are interested in sound science and not paying for an answer, I can't think of any reason that having someone know you funded the study would harm you.

And even if there were some reason I can't currently imagine, if you fund the research anonymously then nobody knows who you are, so the research can't be influenced by your donation, and you protect your identity.


It harms them because then they can't buy research and then falsely present it as the work of a completely independent, impartial third party.

That's what these GOP scumbags are making a stand against.



And by that I mean, those are the shady practices these GOP scumbags are defending.
 
2014-03-27 01:20:04 PM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: You don't see a difference in asking how the public's money is spent versus requiring disclosure of how private funds are spent?


When they're trying to influence government policy?

Six, let me ask you a question.  If I submit to the government a report to change a regulation/law, wouldn't it make sense for the government to ask who I am, who paid for the report, and what sort of control the people funding my report had over the research?

If I submitted a report that said all meat processed in the US causes cancer so meat should be banned and 100 percent of the funding came from PETA, wouldn't it be competent for the government to question that?  Or a report PROVING that coal waste doesn't hurt fish that was fully paid by Duke Energy?

They're not asking that all research everywhere gives up all this information.  Just information that seeks to DIRECTLY change government regulations/policies/laws/etc.
 
2014-03-27 01:20:08 PM  

theorellior: Study it out


As soon as Obama produces his real Real Birf Certifict. Then we will proceed.
 
2014-03-27 01:20:14 PM  
To Republicans, the rich are the best kind of people, corporations are BETTER than people, and money is speech.  Trying to prevent corporations from buying junk science is clearly an attack on what Republicans believe is at the heart of democracy.

whidbey: Mentat: Is there anything Republicans don't have a problem with?

Tax cuts, cutting social services, anything that might actually help people.


They're against tax cuts for the non-rich.  Just look at their opposition to the payroll tax holiday.
 
2014-03-27 01:20:32 PM  

whidbey: Mentat: Is there anything Republicans don't have a problem with?

Tax cuts, cutting social services, anything that might actually help people.


Deficits when a republican is in office, letting Putin take land when a Republican is in office, cut and running from terrorists when a republican is in office, and not having principles.
 
2014-03-27 01:21:51 PM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: Misch: Now wait, congressional Republicans are demanding down to the penny accounting from people who got grants for Health Care Navigators... but THIS is too much for them?

You don't see a difference in asking how the public's money is spent versus requiring disclosure of how private funds are spent?


That depends. Are those private funds being spent during an OSHA rule-making procedure? If they are, then I don't really see a whole lot of difference, no.

Let's just pretend that a union funds a study that just happens to demonstrate the need for an OSHA regulation that benefits them. Sure, it wouldn't automatically discredit the research, but wouldn't you want that to be known during the decision-making process?
 
2014-03-27 01:23:40 PM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: Misch: Now wait, congressional Republicans are demanding down to the penny accounting from people who got grants for Health Care Navigators... but THIS is too much for them?

You don't see a difference in asking how the public's money is spent versus requiring disclosure of how private funds are spent?


You're either for transparency or against it. At any rate, you don't seem to mind multi-billion dollar transnational corporations having whatever leeway they choose to influence government.
 
2014-03-27 01:25:41 PM  

Uzzah: Really, that's what science is about: the value of the data, not the identity of the person supplying it. If a study is scientifically-valid, the fact that it was paid for by a partisan or a non-partisan shouldn't matter. And if a study is biased, scientists should be able to ascertain that through more science, rather than leaping to the conclusion that it is invalid simply because of who funded it.


This would be all well and good if we lived in a world where reproducing a study was free. It's not. Most of the time, all we can really do is sanity-check the results, run some statistical analyses to make sure the data seems real, and hope we're not being lied to. A financial conflict of interest is a huge red flag on that last one.
 
2014-03-27 01:26:07 PM  

Uzzah: Try this: in this hyperpartisan environment, initial appearance is often elevated over substance. Just being associated with a hot button group or issue can cause an instant and vitriolic reaction from the other side -- see, e.g., the bashing that the Koch Brothers took over making a substantial donation to a NY Hospital. (Ignore the hyperbole by the article headline and author, and just take it for face value.) In short, the messenger sometimes has an unfortunate tendency to overshadow the message.


You know that donation was tied on the agreement that any nurse that tried to join or create a nurses union would be taken out and shot by members of Americans for Prosperity, right.
 
2014-03-27 01:26:38 PM  

Uzzah: /not saying I believe this, but there's a colorable justification for taking that position.


Even saying I do buy that argument, then just fund the research anonymously. If the scientists don't know who is paying for it, then they can't feel pressure to skew the data one way or another, and when they disclose their funding as an anonymous source, your identity is protected.

The only reason to have the researchers know who funded them, but not letting the public know who funded them that I can imagine is if you want to influence the result, but not let people know it.
 
2014-03-27 01:28:28 PM  

theorellior: The_Six_Fingered_Man: You don't see a difference in asking how the public's money is spent versus requiring disclosure of how private funds are spent?

Check and mate, libtards. Corporations have the right to privacy just as you yourself do. Would you want some government Poindexter checking out to see if you wrote a six million dollar check to fund a giant marketing scheme dressed-up like actual real scientific data that would affect public policy? Of course you wouldn't, and neither would PACs or corporations. Study it out, it's a First Amendment issue for sure.


Poe's Law alert, but here we go anyway. Part of the opinion in George Campbell Painting Corp. v. Reid says "The constitutional privilege against self-incrimination is "a personal one, applying only to natural individuals," and, since appellant corporation cannot avail itself of the privilege, it cannot take advantage of the claimed invalidity of a penalty imposed for refusal of an individual, its president, to waive the privilege."
 
2014-03-27 01:33:37 PM  
Conservatives and their business allies are cowards.
 
2014-03-27 01:33:59 PM  

Uzzah: nmrsnr: I've been trying to come with some devil's advocate argument for why revealing donors who have a potential stake in the outcome of the research might damage the research, but I really can't come up with one.

Try this: in this hyperpartisan environment, initial appearance is often elevated over substance. Just being associated with a hot button group or issue can cause an instant and vitriolic reaction from the other side -- see, e.g., the bashing that the Koch Brothers took over making a substantial donation to a NY Hospital. (Ignore the hyperbole by the article headline and author, and just take it for face value.) In short, the messenger sometimes has an unfortunate tendency to overshadow the message.

If we do away with identifying the messenger -- that is, the identification of the person or entity funding the research -- we remove the distraction of fighting over the messenger and can focus solely on the quality of the message. Really, that's what science is about: the value of the data, not the identity of the person supplying it. If a study is scientifically-valid, the fact that it was paid for by a partisan or a non-partisan shouldn't matter. And if a study is biased, scientists should be able to ascertain that through more science, rather than leaping to the conclusion that it is invalid simply because of who funded it.

/not saying I believe this, but there's a colorable justification for taking that position.


So you would be in favor of not disclosing research performed by Unions, peta, planned parenthood, climate change scientists supported by the government etc...?

If you say yes to the above, then we have a difference of opinion.
I believe we should go the other way and disclose everything, eventual things will adjust so a new standard (hopefully more relevant) will be introduced that will legitimize reports no matter the source, like being peer reviewed vs not.
 
2014-03-27 01:36:04 PM  
What if they just didn't allow any studies to be entered into "the record" during any rule- or law-making discussions unless they made such a disclosure? (DNRTFA, so this may actually be the plan, but that would mean either subby or the Daily Breast lied to me.)

Anyone who wants to fund a study is still free to do so (I imagine the Feds are basically powerless to stop that anyway), and to cite it in every journal and op-ed they can solicit notice from, and anyone who wants to make or change public policy can subject all parts of their work to peer review and public scrutiny.
 
2014-03-27 01:36:25 PM  

Nabb1: As long as it stands up to thorough peer review, I'd be less concerned about who funded it. I would want to know in the interest of full disclosure, I think, but as long as it was peer reviewed and stood up to proper scrutiny, the funding issue becomes secondary.


The "peer review" you're speaking of generally takes years before anything resembling a consensus is formed. The research they are discussing isn't necessarily "primary research" that would be published in a journal for review. It's more like a giant internal project of a corporation, and they keep things pretty quiet science-wise, until they submit the research.

Many times in these situations, the closest thing to "peer review" you get is the corporate lead reading the paper making sure it conforms to the corporations line they are toeing.

So, unfortunately the funding issue needs to take a bigger role in determining the validity of the science. It's not very scientific to do that, but in an era of manufactured facts and blantantly bought and paid for science, it's a necessity.
 
2014-03-27 01:37:24 PM  
Umm, read the "information for authors" section of any (reputable) journal, and you will probably find that you must declare conflicts of interest at submission time.  Also, check Acknowledgements sections of articles, as it is standard practice (if not required) to acknowledge where funding came from in a paper.
 
2014-03-27 01:37:52 PM  
Why do you hate scientific liberty?
 
2014-03-27 01:42:01 PM  

golden goat: Umm, read the "information for authors" section of any (reputable) journal, and you will probably find that you must declare conflicts of interest at submission time.  Also, check Acknowledgements sections of articles, as it is standard practice (if not required) to acknowledge where funding came from in a paper.


Umm, read the article and you'd realize this isn't referring to research submitted to journals, but instead to research submitted to government agencies in a rule-making procedure.
 
2014-03-27 01:42:35 PM  

Nabb1: As long as it stands up to thorough peer review, I'd be less concerned about who funded it. I would want to know in the interest of full disclosure, I think, but as long as it was peer reviewed and stood up to proper scrutiny, the funding issue becomes secondary.


but what if the peers are all anonymously funded by the same corporation?
 
2014-03-27 01:43:05 PM  
i1.ytimg.com

Who's done more research on the subject than the good people at the American Tobacco Industry? They say it's harmless. Why would they lie? If you're dead, you can't smoke.
 
2014-03-27 01:44:05 PM  

Nabb1: As long as it stands up to thorough peer review, I'd be less concerned about who funded it. I would want to know in the interest of full disclosure, I think, but as long as it was peer reviewed and stood up to proper scrutiny, the funding issue becomes secondary.


I agree...to a point.  But the problem is not that scientists won't be able to debunk bad science it's that in the court of public opinion, a company can say, "sure, you have studies that show our product is harmful, but we've found these studies that say it's not harmful.  Yes, your scientists disagree with these other studies, but these scientists disagree with your scientists' studies."  The company is hoping that the general public simply hears that scientists diagree.
 
2014-03-27 01:45:07 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-03-27 01:49:37 PM  

whidbey: Nabb1: As long as it stands up to thorough peer review, I'd be less concerned about who funded it. I would want to know in the interest of full disclosure, I think, but as long as it was peer reviewed and stood up to proper scrutiny, the funding issue becomes secondary.

So you don't mind if some multibillion dollar oil company funds an anti-climate change study?

You don't see the slightest bit of conflict of interest there?

Of course you don't.


What interest would OSHA have in a climate change study? Where did I say I saw no conflict of interest? Where did I say it didn't matter who funded it? I said if it was subjected to thorough peer review, then it was secondary to that, not totally irrelevant? Do you need to make shiat up just for the sake of picking an argument? Piss off, dude. I don't need any of your bullshiat today.
 
2014-03-27 01:49:58 PM  

whidbey: Mentat: Is there anything Republicans don't have a problem with?

Tax cuts, cutting social services, anything that might actually help people.


Poe's Law, buddy.  Just sayin'.
 
2014-03-27 01:55:38 PM  

Nabb1: I said if it was subjected to thorough peer review, then it was secondary to that, not totally irrelevant?


That's definitely true; in fact, requiring disclosure for peer-reviewed science would probably lead to bias on the part of the reviewers. I can easily see people rejecting findings from the American Petroleum Institute simply because they're from API, and not on the merits of the research. If the research stands on its merits, then who funded it doesn't matter.

However, the article isn't referring to peer-reviewed research, but research submitted directly to government agencies as part of a rule-making process.
 
2014-03-27 01:57:14 PM  
Of course it should be disclosed, and so should the names of the researchers on the peer review panels.  I spent 11 years working on this sort of stuff.  There are some issues, particularly around privacy - applicants calling up reviewers and harrassing them, etc.  But on the whole the more transparency the better.
 
2014-03-27 02:04:18 PM  

monoski: Mentat: Is there anything Republicans don't have a problem with?

Military spending


Wait till they run out of Presidential names and have to name an aircraft carrier after Obama. The epic whargarble will be a thing of beauty.
 
2014-03-27 02:04:51 PM  

Dr Dreidel: What if they just didn't allow any studies to be entered into "the record" during any rule- or law-making discussions unless they made such a disclosure? (DNRTFA, so this may actually be the plan, but that would mean either subby or the Daily Breast lied to me.)

Anyone who wants to fund a study is still free to do so (I imagine the Feds are basically powerless to stop that anyway), and to cite it in every journal and op-ed they can solicit notice from, and anyone who wants to make or change public policy can subject all parts of their work to peer review and public scrutiny.


Operating in and around federal rule making is what I do for a living. (vague enough for ya?)

ANYONE even you or I is free to submit any comment we like in response to any  proposed rule-making by an government agency.

. Stage one of any rule-make is to Publish a Notice of Proposed Rule-Making in the Federal Register and invite Public comment on that rule for 60 days.   There is even a link to the Federal Docket Management System where submitting a comment is about as easy as commenting on Fark.   In Their notice of Final Rulemaking (also published in the FR) the agency must note and respond to all comments received  (and then you have thirty MORE days to comment-this time to OMB, about what you think about the rule)

ALL OSHA is asking for here is that these public comments that include research studies (as comments from academics often do) identify any pecuniary interest the researcher may have in the outcome of the rule-making.  This is not to say it will be discounted,  I see research from industry trade groups being given great weight by rule-makers all the time, but it will be vetted slightly more rigorously, as it should be
 
2014-03-27 02:07:09 PM  

limeyfellow: monoski: Mentat: Is there anything Republicans don't have a problem with?

Military spending

Wait till they run out of Presidential names and have to name an aircraft carrier after Obama. The epic whargarble will be a thing of beauty.


I really hope somebody subtly designs the carrier so that part of it looks like the Kenyan flag.
 
2014-03-27 02:07:38 PM  

Mentat: Is there anything Republicans don't have a problem with?


Deeply closeted self-loathing homosexuals?
 
2014-03-27 02:08:45 PM  

Mentat: Is there anything Republicans don't have a problem with?


rape
 
2014-03-27 02:09:05 PM  

nmrsnr: I've been trying to come with some devil's advocate argument for why revealing donors who have a potential stake in the outcome of the research might damage the research, but I really can't come up with one.


People might ignore the research because they assume it's biased?

If ExxonMobil came out with a stunning piece of research saying that oil was good for waterfowl, no one would read past the title. If a university came out with the same thing, people might just get past their prejudices and read the paper.

There are a lot of counter-intuitive results out there. Assuming that the corporations aren't outright lying (which could only be confirmed by independent validation), there's no reason they shouldn't get a fair shake.

I don't know how OSHA works though. Do they have a process similar to peer review?
 
2014-03-27 02:10:38 PM  

sprawl15: Mentat: Is there anything Republicans don't have a problem with?

rape


Unless it's legitimate rape. Or illegitimate rape. Whichever is funnier.
 
2014-03-27 02:10:57 PM  

Magorn: ALL OSHA is asking for here is that these public comments that include research studies (as comments from academics often do) identify any pecuniary interest the researcher may have in the outcome of the rule-making. This is not to say it will be discounted, I see research from industry trade groups being given great weight by rule-makers all the time, but it will be vetted slightly more rigorously, as it should be


That's what I was hoping. And yes, anyone who has a problem with this should Google "conflict of interest" and why it's unethical to represent a study as "objective" when it's funded by people with a financial stake in the outcome.

On a side note, I'd love it if "conflicts of interest" actually again became a thing people could be cited or censured for not disclosing, but when sitting SCOTUS AJs get to skate on some pretty obvious appearances of conflicting interests, no one else even has a prayer.
 
Displayed 50 of 93 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report