As I have shown here on numerous occasions…
According to John Ioannidis, author of Why Most Published Research Findings Are False, the main problem is that too many researchers engage in what he calls ‘significance chasing,’ or finding ways to interpret the data so that it passes the statistical test of significance— [thus they get the result they WANT and not the truth behind what is THERE] the ninety-five-per-cent boundary invented by Ronald Fisher. ‘The scientists are so eager to pass this magical test that they start playing around with the numbers, trying to find anything that seems worthy,’” [Read More]
Scientific research is wrong a lot.
Not that there is anything wrong with that. Man makes mistakes, they are fallible and because they are? Mistakes happen. Most of us readily accept this fact easily enough…
However scientists are not ‘most of us.’
It is here, with scientists, where I have a tiny issue. You see, I do have a huge problem with science seldom willing to ‘man up’ to their mistakes when they are accidentally discovered. These errors do get reported, though more often than not their acknowledgement comes only in the form of a passing reported comment which has to be stumbled upon because it is never highlighted…
For all practical purposes? Science does not like to have its mistakes pointed out or drawn attention to.
With that said, the fact that the science appears [thanks to article below] to be against a ‘universal standard’ for their research? Comes as little surprise.
“Science is the search for truth!” They say, but apparently the word ‘truth’ in the quote, has some very decisive qualifiers.
For that ‘truth’ is only their own, as they see it, through their ‘significance chasing’…
Not as it is.
The global scientific community is capable of policing its own behavior and should resist creation of a central oversight body to enforce ‘universal standards’ that may have unintended consequences, a renowned physicist and director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin said Saturday. [Pffft.]Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science Without Borders meeting in Washington, D.C., Raymond L Orbach, Ph.D., singled out several elements contained in the “Singapore Statement of Research Integrity” (www.singaporestatement.org) approved last July at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity.
“While it is appropriate for scientists and researchers to examine the governance of international collaborations in science, the Singapore Statement conveys a ‘top down’ approach that holds strong potential for unintended consequences,” Orbach said.
[Beware the 'unintended consequences'? Yes, that's called 'accountability'.]
For example, the Singapore Statement calls on researchers ‘to report to the appropriate authorities any suspected research misconduct … and other irresponsible research practices that undermine the trustworthiness of research, such as carelessness, improperly listing authors, failing to report conflicting data, or the use of misleading analytical methods.’ “Just exactly who are the ‘appropriate authorities’ to whom one should report?” Orbach asked in his remarks at Saturday’s AAAS meeting.
“The thought of some central body with oversight responsibilities over ‘carelessness’ or ‘use of misleading analytical methods’ is frightening,” he added. “The lack of precision in defining these ‘irresponsible research practices’ also could lead to the mischievous invasion of personal rights and responsibilities.”
Orbach also objected to the notion that researchers have an ethical obligation ‘to weigh social benefits against risks inherent in their work.’
“Scientific research should be free to follow scientific instincts, and not be obligated to weigh potential findings against someone’s concept of ‘social benefits,’ ” Orbach said.
“There is a good argument for stating the significance of research to a prospective funding agency, but this should be in the context of the relevant research program,” Orbach continued. “In the broader context, who is to judge ‘social benefit?’ “
In the end, the scientific community is quite capable of spotting and dealing with fraudulent behavior within its own ranks, Orbach said.
“The integrity of our work is the best judge of our behavior.” [As judged by THEM. convenient.]
The theme for this year’s AAAS meeting – Science Without Borders – is particularly apt, as nations form relationships that increasingly blur traditional ‘borders’ and risk becoming entangled in ethical issues, Orbach concluded.
“While the issue of research integrity is vitally important, and should be addressed on a global scale, the edicts issued by oversight bodies may produce unfortunate and far-reaching consequences that could ultimately negate the very purpose the standards are intended to support.” [Read More]