Sunday, April 15, 2012

New York Times Loses Faith in Science

In the fall of 2010, Dr. Ferric C. Fang made an unsettling discovery. Dr. Fang, who is editor in chief of the journal Infection and Immunity, found that one of his authors had doctored several papers.

It was a new experience for him. “Prior to that time,” he said in an interview, “Infection and Immunity had only retracted nine articles over a 40-year period.”

The journal wound up retracting six of the papers from the author, Naoki Mori of the University of the Ryukyus in Japan. And it soon became clear that Infection and Immunity was hardly the only victim of Dr. Mori’s misconduct. Since then, other scientific journals have retracted two dozen of his papers, according to the watchdog blog Retraction Watch.
Read the whole thing; IMHO not a bad article on the problems plaguing science at present.  What I find amusing is that this contradicts the usual meme that conservatives are skeptical and even anti-science, where as liberals trust in science.  You can find examples of this, of course, (climate change anyone?), but there are counter examples (nuclear power and the effects of vaccines).  This article suggests (as I fully believe) that pressures to publish at all cost (and to attract media attention for the results of your work have seriously degraded science, and that more skepticism is warranted...

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