December 13, 2012 5:17 pm
Outright fraud rare, but selective analyses and reporting ‘highly prevalent’. The fuzzy boundary between removing noise from results and biasing them toward a desired outcome might be unknowingly crossed by many researchers.
October 22, 2012 5:06 pm
A new report on responsible science has been issued by the InterAcademy Council and the IAP – the global network of science academies. The report is the first product of the IAC and IAP’s project on scientific integrity, “initiated in response to several major trends reshaping the research enterprise, including the increasingly global and interdisciplinary nature of science, its heightened role in policy debates, and the continued emergence of high-profile cases of irresponsible research behavior in many countries.” The report “identifies fundamental values and principles that researchers should incorporate into every part of the process, from developing a research plan to reporting results and communicating with policymakers and the public.”
September 5, 2012 7:41 pm
Marc Hauser, a prolific scientist and popular psychology professor who last summer resigned from Harvard University, had fabricated data, manipulated results in multiple experiments, and described how studies were conducted in factually incorrect ways, according to the findings of a federal research oversight agency posted online Wednesday. The report provides the greatest insight yet into the problems that triggered a three-year internal university investigation that concluded in 2010 that Hauser, a star professor and public intellectual, had committed eight instances of scientific misconduct. The document, which will be published in the Federal Register Thursday, found six cases in which Hauser engaged in research misconduct in work supported by the National Institutes of Health. One paper was retracted and two were corrected, and other problems were found in unpublished work.
August 2, 2012 9:58 am
Scientists who are experts at understanding how the flu works are convening in New York this week to make a very important decision. They are going to decide whether to restart potentially risky research on flu viruses that has been on hold for many months. Some argue that before they begin there ought to be a lot more involvement of the public in granting permission for this work. I completely disagree. There are plenty of oversight groups in place already that are charged with protecting public health and safety in the U.S. and worldwide.
July 23, 2012 12:16 pm
The actions described by two prominent bioethicists as “astonishing,” and a “major penalty” for the school threaten both the doctors’ professional careers and the university’s reputation and federal-funding status. “This is really distressing” said Patricia Backlar, an Oregon bioethicist who served on President Bill Clinton’s national bioethics advisory commission. “UC Davis is a very respectable school, but even the best places have trouble,” Backlar said. “These men have put that school in jeopardy.”
July 18, 2012 10:14 am
M.D. Anderson’s oversight of clinical trials of the drug AV-203 would violate ethics rules the institution created a decade ago after it failed to tell patients about the financial stake of its then-president, Dr. John Mendelsohn, in his drug Erbitux. “To me, this is a conflict of interest,” Dr. Leonard Zwelling, an M.D. Anderson professor who helped rewrite the ethics rules, said of the Aveo trial. “There is a system that got bypassed here.”
July 16, 2012 9:29 am
The rise of technology and research in the 21st century has brought about advances in biology and medicine, specifically in genetics. Anyone who has read the excellent cautionary tale Bloodline, by James Rollins, will wonder about the balance among morality, fate, and science, as well as how far science should go. American Thinker decided to go beyond Bloodline‘s fascinating adventure story to explore the narrative of genetics by interviewing some experts as well as the author, James Rollins.
July 5, 2012 1:09 pm
Research involving intentional exposure to infectious pathogens had been done before, and still occurs today, but with ethical safeguards that were not in place in Guatemala. What happened there was wrong because of the lack of individual consent, the subjects’ vulnerability and the degrading nature of some research methods.
June 26, 2012 3:53 pm
In a recent commentary in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Cory Harris and Amir Raz of McGill summarize the data from recent surveys of physician use of placebos in clinical practice in several nations. They find that prescribing drugs like antibiotics or supplements like vitamins as placebos is now a widespread practice. This is happening without any public guidelines or regulations for placebos’ use, which raises an important question: How, exactly, should physicians be using the placebo effect to help patients?
June 22, 2012 11:15 am
The more controversial of two papers describing how the lethal H5N1bird flu could be made easier to spread was published Thursday, six months after a scientific advisory board suggested that the papers’ most potentially dangerous data be censored. The paper, by scientists at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, identified five mutations apparently necessary to make the bird flu virus spread easily among ferrets, which catch the same flus that humans do.