Monday, July 11, 2005

Alas, the learned high priests of Science have sometimes gone astray

Allegations of Fake Research Hit New High

Ok, this officially is beginning to get worrisome. I knew that there was a good reason I didn't want to get into academia. The summary of the news story is that many researchers succumb to the many pressures around them and cheat to get ahead, or even to just get by. From experience, I can say that it is a daunting feeling, to be expected to know something your don’t. What really alarmed me was

He testified that he was working 80 to 90 hours a week, seeing patients two days a week, doing surgery one day a week, supervising medical residents, serving on as many as 10 different committees at the hospital and the medical school and putting on national medical conferences.

He did seek help, both from a psychiatrist, who counseled him to cut back, and from his boss, who demanded Friedman increase his research and refused to reduce Friedman's patient load.

The poor guy has broken laws to keep up, and his boss’s solution is to work harder. something is seriously wrong here.

Granted, in a survey taken, only 1.5% admit falsification or plagiarism, but about a third did admit some kind of misconduct- and that are those who responded to the survey. Science has taken the aura of infallibility by many, and yet, this shows just how very fallible, both it is, and its adherents.
I say this not to denigrate Science, but to remind us not to blindly rely on it.

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