A report episode that has significant relevance to the theme of this blog. Supporting ‘Truth and Justice’. Of relevance to ALL who wish to have faith in their own beliefs.
Sometimes information presented is simply opinion, which anyone can logically assess with their own thinking processes. More often, it is of a technical nature whereby scientific thought processes come into play. Readers rely on the credibility of scientific reports on which they base their beliefs. Readers who are not scientifically trained are highly dependent on the author’s honesty, integrity and expertise. Perhaps that should be ‘all’ readers.
The Corbett report clearly shows that diligence in assessing scientific reports is essential because so many are misleading or simply wrong!
In recent years, the public has gradually discovered that there is a crisis in science. But what is the problem? And how bad is it, really? Today on The Corbett Report we shine a spotlight on the series of interrelated crises that are exposing the way institutional science is practiced today, and what it means for an increasingly science-dependent society.
You see, finding a “statistically significant result” sounds impressive and helps scientists to get their paper published in high-impact journals, but “statistical significance” is in fact easy to fake. If, like Bohannes, you use a small sample size and measure for 18 different variables, it’s almost impossible not to find some “statistically significant” result. Scientists know this, and the process of sifting through data to find “statistically significant” (but ultimately meaningless) results is so common that it has its own name: “p-hacking” or “data dredging.”
But p-hacking only scrapes the surface of the problem. From confounding factors to normalcy bias to publication pressures to outright fraud, the once-pristine image of science and scientists as an impartial font of knowledge about the world has been seriously undermined over the past decade.
Although these types of problems are by no means new, they came into vogue when Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.” The 2005 paper addresses head on the concern that “most current published research findings are false,” asserting that “for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.” The paper has achieved iconic status, becoming the most downloaded paper in the Public Library of Science and launching a conversation about false results, fake data, bias, manipulation and fraud in science that continues to this day.
, a physician, researcher and writer at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, rocked the scientific community with his landmark paper “
In fact, the data shows that the Crisis of Fraud in scientific circles is even worse than scientists will admit. A study published in 2012 found that fraud or suspected fraud was responsible for 43% of scientific paper retractions, by far the single leading cause of retraction. The study demonstrated a 1000% increase in (reported) scientific fraud since 1975. Together with “duplicate publication” and “plagiarism,” misconduct of one form or another accounted for two-thirds of all retractions.
So much for scientists as disinterested truth-tellers.
Indeed, instances of scientific fraud are cropping up more and more in the headlines these days.
We’ve all heard of “publish or perish” by now. It means that only researchers who have a steady flow of published papers to their name are considered for the plush positions in modern-day academia.
This pressure isn’t some abstract or unstated force; it is direct and explicit. Until recently the medical department at London’s Imperial College told researchers that their target was to “publish three papers per annum including one in a prestigious journal with an impact factor of at least five.” Similar guidelines and quotas are enacted in departments throughout academia.
And so, like any quota-based system, people will find a way to cheat their way to the goal. Some attach their names to work they have little to do with. Others publish in pay-to-play journals that will publish anything for a small fee. And others simply fudge their data until they get a result that will grab headlines and earn a spot in a high-profile journal.
The peer review process is designed as a check against fraud, sloppy research and other problems that arise when journal editors are determining whether to publish a paper. In theory, the editor of the journal passes the paper to another researcher in the same field who can then check that the research is factual, relevant, novel and sufficient for publication.
In practice, the process is never quite so straightforward.
The peer review system is in fact rife with abuse,
[My bold emphases]
In the most egregious cases, as with researchers in the orbit of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, groups of scientists have been caught conspiring to oust an editor from a journal that published papers that challenged their own research and even conspiring to “redefine what the peer-review literature is” in order to stop rival researchers from being published at all.
RFK JR.: “Simpsonwood” was the transcripts of a secret meeting that was held between CDC and 75 representatives of the vaccine industry in which they reviewed a report that CDC had ordered—the Verstraeten study—of a hundred thousand children in the United States vaccine safety database. And when they looked at it themselves, they said, quote: “It is impossible to massage this data to make the signal go away. There is no denying that there is a connection between autism and thimerosal in the vaccines.” And this is what they said. I didn’t say this. This is what their own scientists [said] and their own conclusion of the best doctors, the top people at CDC, the top people at the pharmaceutical injury industry.
And you know, when they had this meeting they had it not in Atlanta—which was the headquarters of the CDC—but in Simpsonwood at a private conference center, because they believed that that would make them able to insulate themselves from a court request under the Freedom of Information Law and they would not have to disclose the transcripts of these meetings to the public. Somebody transcribed the meetings and we were able to get a hold of it. You have them talking about the Verstraeten study and saying there’s a clear link, not just with autism but with the whole range of neurological disorders—speech delay, language delay, all kinds of learning disorders, ADD, hyperactivity disorder—and the injection of these vaccines.
[. . .]and at the end of that meeting they make a few decisions. One is Verstraeten, the man who designed who conducted the study, is hired the next day by GlaxoSmithKline and shipped off to switzerland, and six months later he sends in a redesigned study that includes cohorts who are too young to have been diagnosed as autistic. So he loads the study down, the data down, and they tell the public that they’ve lost all the original data. This is what CDC says till this day: That it does not know what happened to the original data in the Verstraeten study. And they published this other study that is a corrupt and crooked—what we call tobacco science done by a bunch of bio-stitutes, crooked scientists who are trying to fool the American public.
Then Kathleen Stratton from CDC and IOM says “What we need is we need some studies that will disprove the
link.” So they work with the vaccine industry to gin up these four phony European studies that are done by vaccine industry employees, funded by the vaccine industry and published in the American Academy of Pediatrics magazine, which receives 80% of its revenue from the vaccine industry. And none of these scientists disclose any of their myriad conflicts which conventional ethics rules require them to do. It’s not disclosed.
SOURCE: RFK JR. Vaccine Cover Up SIMPSONWOOD MEMO
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER: Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
SOURCE: Eisenhower Farewell Address
My “cherry-picking” here included two areas of TGR’s interests, “vaccine dangers” and “Catastrophic Global Warming”, but the whole scientific spectrum is involved.
The report is compelling, accurate and very meaningful.