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(Slate)   Why is there so much outright fraud in stem cell research, and should we take this as absolute proof that we can't trust scientists to tell us the truth about anything?   (slate.com) divider line 60
    More: Interesting, academic fraud, Seoul National University, human diseases, wrongdoing, Haruko Obokata  
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2019 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Aug 2014 at 11:55 AM (6 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-08-07 09:37:07 AM
When someone is found guilty of fraud in a publication, suspicion usually extends to the researcher's entire body of work-and inevitably, co-authors are caught in the crossfire.

My first memory of hearing the name "David Baltimore" was in connection with the misconduct allegations. (Wikisummary) Only later did I learn that he was actually somebody important in biology.
 
2014-08-07 09:56:29 AM
monkey see

monkey do
 
2014-08-07 10:24:23 AM
So those motherfarkers are lying, and getting you pissed?
 
2014-08-07 10:36:47 AM
I think submitter is trying to make a climate change hoax argument here, but I'm not sure.
 
2014-08-07 10:40:31 AM
Well the thing about this kind of fraud is that it is going to be found out.  The key to "believing" results is replication. If others cannot replicate your work, that's a problem and it WILL be discovered.
 
2014-08-07 10:48:19 AM
More money = more fraud.  This is not unique to science.
 
2014-08-07 10:56:01 AM
There is a lot of fraud everywhere, it's just in science they eventually get around to testing things.

/Just imagine any religion subject to the scientific method.
 
2014-08-07 12:06:19 PM
Any system has an amount of fraud in it. ANY.

It is not reasonable to destroy a system because it has an amount of fraud in it - it is reasonable to try to prevent the fraud. Which it seems happened in this case.
 
2014-08-07 12:06:25 PM
Because it's a growing field with a lot of promise, so there's gonna be a lot of scammers popping in to try and get some of it.

Sorta the same reason why assholes keep slapping "NANO" on some of their research, despite the fact that they're not using nanoscale materials or properties *whatsoever*.

I feel bad for this guy's grad students, if he has any...
 
2014-08-07 12:15:29 PM
Subby: "Why is there so much outright fraud"
FTFA: "Overall, academic fraud is rare"

It does happen, but it is rare.  And when it does happen, it gets caught.  It's almost as if... science works!

The few that do commit fraud do it because, like others who commit fraud, it's likely a mix of (a) if they don't get a grant they might lose their job, so the fudge some numbers, (b) they want more glory than their data is worth, so they make so-so data look like great data (c) they are just outright liars, or (d) they honestly believe their data SHOULD be good, but they don't have the integrity/balls to admit it isn't, so they change things to look like the way they believe it should look, not the way it is.

They are always caught (unless the results are so meaningless no one ever even reads the paper that gets published in an obscure Chinese journal)
 
2014-08-07 12:16:50 PM

Marcus Aurelius: More money = more fraud.  This is not unique to science.


And not new, either.  This is simply snake oil for the 21st century.
 
2014-08-07 12:27:13 PM
Obama
 
2014-08-07 12:29:39 PM
Peer review, biatches!

If you tell anything but the truth in a scientific paper, anyone who replicates your experiment is going to reveal you as a fraud.

No point in risking it.
 
2014-08-07 12:37:47 PM

jylcat: Well the thing about this kind of fraud is that it is going to be found out.  The key to "believing" results is replication. If others cannot replicate your work, that's a problem and it WILL be discovered.


In theory, yes.  Except that replicating other people's result is not going to get you published in the good journals and hence not advance your career, many papers don't include enough information to replicate them and if a piece of research is replicated, but gives a different result, most of the time nothing happens.

Outright fraud is probably a small issue in all this. The incentives that researchers are given to produce novel work with positive results is a bigger problem.
 
2014-08-07 12:47:12 PM

mainstreet62: Peer review, biatches!

If you tell anything but the truth in a scientific paper, anyone who replicates your experiment is going to reveal you as a fraud.

No point in risking it.


To be fair, in nanotech/nanophysics etc, replication can be a biatch. I swear to god sometimes its like the phase of the f*cking moon alters the results.

/Ambient Humidity can certainly alter a synthesis.
//And the humidity and temp control rooms for each individual room in this building have NEVER. F*CKING. WORKED. Yaaaaaaay.
 
2014-08-07 12:49:18 PM
Throughout history there have been stories about panaceas for all ills.

Could they be more than just fantasies?

And if so, could they be the result of extraterrestrials?

\When did you stop beating your wife?
 
2014-08-07 12:50:05 PM
Shut up science biatch!

37.media.tumblr.com
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-08-07 12:52:25 PM
/Ambient Humidity can certainly alter a synthesis.

I heard horror stories about computer chip fabrication in the 1980s and early 1990s. Like suddenly all the chips were defective, and it took a month to find out somebody opened a window on the other side of the building.

Intel's policy is to build a new fab by cloning an existing facility to reduce unpleasant variability.
 
2014-08-07 12:54:38 PM

Tigger: Any system has an amount of fraud in it. ANY.

It is not reasonable to destroy a system because it has an amount of fraud in it - it is reasonable to try to prevent the fraud. Which it seems happened in this case.


Except our electoral system, which as I discovered yesterday on the politics tab has none.
 
2014-08-07 01:14:29 PM

Fano: Tigger: Any system has an amount of fraud in it. ANY.

It is not reasonable to destroy a system because it has an amount of fraud in it - it is reasonable to try to prevent the fraud. Which it seems happened in this case.

Except our electoral system, which as I discovered yesterday on the politics tab has none.


Bull pies.  There's loads of fraud in our electoral system, all of it perpetrated by democrat Libruls.  Also, since most Scienticians are Libruls, I invite you to put two and two together.

/hint: they make FIVE
 
2014-08-07 01:24:09 PM

Felgraf: mainstreet62: Peer review, biatches!

If you tell anything but the truth in a scientific paper, anyone who replicates your experiment is going to reveal you as a fraud.

No point in risking it.

To be fair, in nanotech/nanophysics etc, replication can be a biatch. I swear to god sometimes its like the phase of the f*cking moon alters the results.

/Ambient Humidity can certainly alter a synthesis.
//And the humidity and temp control rooms for each individual room in this building have NEVER. F*CKING. WORKED. Yaaaaaaay.


Sounds like someone's hard work didn't pan out this morning.
 
2014-08-07 01:32:22 PM

Felgraf: mainstreet62: Peer review, biatches!

If you tell anything but the truth in a scientific paper, anyone who replicates your experiment is going to reveal you as a fraud.

No point in risking it.

To be fair, in nanotech/nanophysics etc, replication can be a biatch. I swear to god sometimes its like the phase of the f*cking moon alters the results.

/Ambient Humidity can certainly alter a synthesis.
//And the humidity and temp control rooms for each individual room in this building have NEVER. F*CKING. WORKED. Yaaaaaaay.


Well, in your field, I would assume that the electric field generated by farting against your chair (I'll leave it to you guys to quantify that) would cause havoc for your experiments.

I remember at grad school there was a biomedical engineering lab a few rooms away from a mechanical engineering lab. The MechE lab was doing impact stress testing at night, and the BMEs couldn't figure out why their cells were traveling at warp 9 when they came in the next morning until one of them stayed late and started feeling the vibrations from 3 rooms away.

You have to control everything, or you're sunk.
 
2014-08-07 01:32:32 PM
I'd giver her some stem cells! Am i right?!
d13uygpm1enfng.cloudfront.net
 
2014-08-07 01:32:41 PM

I May Be Crazy But...: Felgraf: mainstreet62: Peer review, biatches!

If you tell anything but the truth in a scientific paper, anyone who replicates your experiment is going to reveal you as a fraud.

No point in risking it.

To be fair, in nanotech/nanophysics etc, replication can be a biatch. I swear to god sometimes its like the phase of the f*cking moon alters the results.

/Ambient Humidity can certainly alter a synthesis.
//And the humidity and temp control rooms for each individual room in this building have NEVER. F*CKING. WORKED. Yaaaaaaay.

Sounds like someone's hard work didn't pan out this morning.


Actually, for once, it *did*, it looks like. I was able to get the nanorods to deposit on my glass sample slides.

I'd just been having issues with that for a week (despite it aving worked perfectly fine in the past!), and so had been grumpy about it. Think I finally narrowed down what wasn't working (or, rather, why it wasn't working *now*, and how to fix it)

I love this field, but I swear I'm this close to  dissolving a chicken breast in a beaker of Pirahna solution as a sacrifice to the science gods before I do anything.
 
2014-08-07 01:46:35 PM

mainstreet62: I remember at grad school there was a biomedical engineering lab a few rooms away from a mechanical engineering lab. The MechE lab was doing impact stress testing at night, and the BMEs couldn't figure out why their cells were traveling at warp 9 when they came in the next morning until one of them stayed late and started feeling the vibrations from 3 rooms away.


At my undergrad, some physics folks were running a delicate experiment (I didn't understand what they told me about it, just that it was delicate) and they were doing it at 2 in the morning so nobody would even be walking around. Then some drunk undergraduate physics students who had access to the building started rolling a bowling ball down the hallway outside the room. They were PISSED.

Felgraf: Actually, for once, it *did*, it looks like. I was able to get the nanorods to deposit on my glass sample slides.

I'd just been having issues with that for a week (despite it aving worked perfectly fine in the past!), and so had been grumpy about it. Think I finally narrowed down what wasn't working (or, rather, why it wasn't working *now*, and how to fix it)

I love this field, but I swear I'm this close to  dissolving a chicken breast in a beaker of Pirahna solution as a sacrifice to the science gods before I do anything.


Just don't forget to turn around clockwise three times also. And don't, under any circumstances turn counterclockwise. Glad you figured it out, though.
 
2014-08-07 01:48:53 PM

Snarfangel: There is a lot of fraud everywhere, it's just in science they eventually get around to testing things.

/Just imagine any religion subject to the scientific method.


And by any religion, you mean Christianity, right?
 
2014-08-07 01:51:32 PM

Hipjoint: I'd giver her some stem cells! Am i right?!
[d13uygpm1enfng.cloudfront.net image 382x375]


They might not be stem cells per se, but they'd definitely be cells from a stem.  Hiyo!
 
2014-08-07 01:52:11 PM

mainstreet62: Peer review, biatches!

If you tell anything but the truth in a scientific paper, anyone who replicates your experiment is going to reveal you as a fraud.

No point in risking it.


This, right here, is why the scientific process is useful.  Claim and falsify all the bullshiat you want.  But if you make some claim that's relevant to a field of research people are actually doing, you WILL be caught.  Either directly as fraud, or your theories will be generally abandoned when they don't work or others withstand testing.

You might get a grant or extend your work another year or two by lying, but long term you're completely toast.
 
2014-08-07 01:53:26 PM
Gather 'round children, it's time for uncle FLAB's scary story time: It can be hard to catch fraud. The number of results that have never even been tried out for replication vastly outnumbers the ones that have been verified.

Now now, don't cry little Suzie, because this story gets better. Y'see it doesn't really matter so much.

The really interesting and important ones (cough, astounding news in stem cell research, cough) will be tested. And before anything goes into a pill or an IV for you to take it will be tested. (FDA allowing shoddy shiat even after it's been tested and came up negative or bad is a different story.) And sooner or later everything catches someone's eye and gets played with, even if it's hundreds of years later. As a last resort there's egotism.

Y'see scienticians don't much believe in that going to heaven when you die crap. Egotism sounds bad but it's really a great force for good in science: Hundreds of years later someone's going to finally dig your stuff out and try to work it together into their Grand Unification Theory Of Everything in... uh... pancreatic expression of particular nerve proteins which for some reason are being expressed in pancreatic tissue itself instead of nerves. And if they find out that you were wrong, innocently or not, and that expression is happening for the boring old reason that it's happening only in nerve tissue in the pancreas - not outside of it which would be interesting - your memory as an explorer of the pancreas will be in deep shiat and you will probably be thrown into the dust bin of uninteresting people and your name taken down from the university's Wikipedia page of famous people associated with the U.

So the moral of this story kids is: Don't do that shiat, and don't worry so much about someone else doing that shiat. Competitive scientists being competitive shiat heads is a good thing.
 
2014-08-07 01:55:46 PM

Satan's Superfluous Nipple: Snarfangel: There is a lot of fraud everywhere, it's just in science they eventually get around to testing things.

/Just imagine any religion subject to the scientific method.

And by any religion, you mean Christianity, right?


cafehayek.com
 
2014-08-07 01:57:56 PM

Hipjoint: I'd giver her some stem cells! Am i right?!
[d13uygpm1enfng.cloudfront.net image 382x375]


She seems good with her right hands.
 
2014-08-07 02:00:14 PM
"In a study of research misconduct, researchers found..."

I hope their results were peer-reviewed and replicated.  I'd hate to think they might have fudged some numbers on research misconduct.
 
2014-08-07 02:00:16 PM

Bad_Seed: jylcat: Well the thing about this kind of fraud is that it is going to be found out.  The key to "believing" results is replication. If others cannot replicate your work, that's a problem and it WILL be discovered.

In theory, yes.  Except that replicating other people's result is not going to get you published in the good journals and hence not advance your career, many papers don't include enough information to replicate them and if a piece of research is replicated, but gives a different result, most of the time nothing happens.

Outright fraud is probably a small issue in all this. The incentives that researchers are given to produce novel work with positive results is a bigger problem.


A lot of times, you're not trying to replicate their results. You're just trying to use their results in your research, but things don't turn out. At that point, you go back and start checking each step. It's during that slow, tedious process that you start to get suspicious of their results, and start doing a little checking.

When their results don't check out, well, now you've got a paper you can publish while you try to figure out some way of getting your main research done. I agree that your paper alone isn't going to raise red flags by itself, but your results will come up when others in the same field start working on the same subject, both your paper and the original paper come up. They both start getting mentioned, and people start saying that their results are more in line with yours than the original paper.

This can lead to an entire field quietly deciding to ignore the original research, or it can lead to public inquiries and suicide.

If it matters in any way, it will be found out.
 
2014-08-07 02:11:56 PM
The great thing about science is, if you're a fraud, it won't be long until you're found out.
 
2014-08-07 02:14:15 PM
"So much" fraud?
One old story, re-hashed.
BFD.
 
2014-08-07 02:16:51 PM

Hipjoint: I'd giver her some stem cells! Am i right?!


This isn't the worst "science" picture I have ever seen, but she really should be wearing PPE.
 
2014-08-07 02:32:47 PM

Fano: Tigger: Any system has an amount of fraud in it. ANY.

It is not reasonable to destroy a system because it has an amount of fraud in it - it is reasonable to try to prevent the fraud. Which it seems happened in this case.

Except our electoral system, which as I discovered yesterday on the politics tab has none.


It has no voter fraud. It has considerable electoral fraud.
 
2014-08-07 02:33:22 PM

mainstreet62: Peer review, biatches!

If you tell anything but the truth in a scientific paper, anyone who replicates your experiment is going to reveal you as a fraud.

No point in risking it.


Not if you invoke the Gendelman rule, where one 'makes the experiment so complex or expensive, that no one will replicate the experiment to its exact parameters.'
 
2014-08-07 02:34:05 PM

Relatively Obscure: So those motherfarkers are lying, and getting you pissed?


Nice, but it makes me a little sad we know that lyric.
 
2014-08-07 02:36:47 PM
It's all really simple. Pure science often funded by grants and no one wants to lose future grants so they feel pressured to show results to ensure future money.

It's researches version of spending all your budget to ensure you receive more money the next year.
 
2014-08-07 02:40:47 PM

jylcat: Well the thing about this kind of fraud is that it is going to be found out.  The key to "believing" results is replication. If others cannot replicate your work, that's a problem and it WILL be discovered.


Though not, it seems, for quite some time. There's always going to be some gap between science-as-idealized and science-as-practiced: that's the nature of ideals. But it's not hard to argue that the current gap, while it certainly doesn't render science useless, is nevertheless large enough that we shouldn't just ignore it.
 
2014-08-07 02:45:14 PM
There's a point I'd like to make about publishing and the peer review process.  I'm an academic scientist myself, and having seen what the work schedule for that is like, I'm kind of surprised the peer review process works as well as it does.  The article asked "why isn't fraud caught by peer review?"  My answer to that question is: Because that prof is writing three grant proposals this week and getting four papers of his own into the incredibly Byzantine editorial requirements for those four separate journals.  The stack of articles you've asked him to peer review for your journal this week (for free, I'd add, all the peer reviewers in my field are volunteers) are competing for time with a lot of other important things that keep money and students in the lab.

How can we improve peer review?  My first suggestion would be to at least take some of the workload off an academic.  The British chemistry journals do paper formatting for you, you just send them a Word document.  American journals don't do that, you have to format everything yourself.  Beyond that, there's a whole huge discussion that can be had on the insane work/life balance (or lack thereof) in academia.

/Despite it all, there's no other job I'd rather have.  Science.  It works, biatches.
 
2014-08-07 02:51:29 PM
So, cold fusion works and Velikovsky is President of the United Planets?
 
2014-08-07 02:53:39 PM

Felgraf: I love this field, but I swear I'm this close to dissolving a chicken breast in a beaker of Pirahna solution as a sacrifice to the science gods before I do anything.


Wouldn't it be more of Pirahna suspension?
 
2014-08-07 02:57:56 PM
FTA: This week, Sasai committed suicide at the Riken Center.

www.swordsandarmor.com

...and removed the stain from his honor.
 
2014-08-07 03:05:06 PM

piledhigheranddeeper: mainstreet62: Peer review, biatches!

If you tell anything but the truth in a scientific paper, anyone who replicates your experiment is going to reveal you as a fraud.

No point in risking it.

Not if you invoke the Gendelman rule, where one 'makes the experiment so complex or expensive, that no one will replicate the experiment to its exact parameters.'


Says you! I'm building a superconducting supercollider in my backyard, and should be finding my own Higgs bosons within the year - or more likely exposing the original discovery as fraud.

/Ha! Ha ha!
 
2014-08-07 03:11:52 PM

give me doughnuts: Felgraf: I love this field, but I swear I'm this close to dissolving a chicken breast in a beaker of Pirahna solution as a sacrifice to the science gods before I do anything.

Wouldn't it be more of Pirahna suspension?


Nah, Piranha Solution: 1 Part H202+3 parts H2SO4. Scary, scary stuff. *agressively* attacks orgnics in a exothermic reaction powerful enough that the whole mixture *froths* and boils (hence the name).

That episode of Mythbusters where they did the breaking bad myths, and showed Hydroflouric Acid won't melt a body, but Sulfuric acid + some "Special sauce" that they wouldn't reveal would? That  was, I am 99% certain, Hydrogen Peroxide they added, in order to make Piranha solution. Stuff is scary, but it cleans glassware *really* well.
 
2014-08-07 03:12:29 PM
Oh! And the reaction also generates *elemental* Oxygen (not O2. O.) So it oxidizes the everloving shiat out of stuff.
 
2014-08-07 03:15:05 PM

Felgraf: give me doughnuts: Felgraf: I love this field, but I swear I'm this close to dissolving a chicken breast in a beaker of Pirahna solution as a sacrifice to the science gods before I do anything.

Wouldn't it be more of Pirahna suspension?

Nah, Piranha Solution: 1 Part H202+3 parts H2SO4. Scary, scary stuff. *agressively* attacks orgnics in a exothermic reaction powerful enough that the whole mixture *froths* and boils (hence the name).

That episode of Mythbusters where they did the breaking bad myths, and showed Hydroflouric Acid won't melt a body, but Sulfuric acid + some "Special sauce" that they wouldn't reveal would? That  was, I am 99% certain, Hydrogen Peroxide they added, in order to make Piranha solution. Stuff is scary, but it cleans glassware *really* well.


Ah. Now it makes sense.
I was thinking more along the lines of this:
farm8.staticflickr.com
 
2014-08-07 03:15:58 PM
Why do scientists commit fraud??   for a dollar and a cent, biatches.

welcome to crony capitalism.  where even the truth is for sale.
 
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