Monday, July 8, 2013

Is Science Broken? Part 5: Retractions Of Fraudulent Work Are Near-Impossible


They have the guy on film tampering with lab samples at night, and that's not enough to get a retraction in Nature, supposedly the leading scientific journal. Nineteen years later, a letter retracting the original study gets published.

"The Nature paper has been cited 255 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge."
Careerism is the one universal scientific principle, apparently.

From one of the comments:
"You know what would make things like less a lot less painful? If you could simply publish negative results without all this ‘reluctance’ from journals to accept them. Honestly, if you were to take a survey of how many scientists out there have been unable to replicate experiments in high profile journals, and just ended up keeping that data in a file drawer and thinking to themselves ‘I’ve proven to myself that the findings of paper X are incorrect’, I bet it would be a disturbingly high number. We desperately need to change this!"
That would be bad for people's careers...