"Compromised science" news/opines (includes retractions, declining academic standards, pred-J, etc)

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by C C, Apr 28, 2023.

  1. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Plague of anomalies in conference proceedings hint at ‘systemic issues’
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...nference-proceedings-hint-at-systemic-issues/

    Hundreds of conference papers published by the U.S.-based Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) show signs of plagiarism, citation fraud and other types of scientific misconduct, according to data sleuths.

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    Highly cited Lancet long COVID study retracted and republished
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...t-long-covid-study-retracted-and-republished/

    One of the first studies of long COVID has been retracted and replaced seven months after editors marked it with an expression of concern citing “data errors.”

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    Judge orders cancer researcher’s art collection seized to pay fees from failed libel suit
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...on-seized-to-pay-fees-from-failed-libel-suit/

    The sheriff of Franklin County, Ohio, has received an order to seize and sell property of Carlo Croce, a cancer researcher at The Ohio State University in Columbus, to pay his nearly $1.1 million debt to lawyers who represented him in failed libel and defamation suits.

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    Data sleuth flags 30 randomized clinical trials from researcher in Egypt
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...zed-clinical-trials-from-researcher-in-egypt/

    Thirty randomized clinical trials involving a researcher in Egypt who has already had six papers retracted show signs of research misconduct and data fabrication, according to the authors of a recent preprint.
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  3. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Following Europe’s lead, New York State is poised to ban most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides. Here’s why that will hurt consumers, farmers — and the environment
    https://geneticliteracyproject.org/...l-hurt-consumers-farmers-and-the-environment/

    INTRO: The state of New York is on the brink of a banning a pesticide that is critical for many farmers. Last week, legislators passed the “Birds and Bees Protection Act,” which would prevent growers from accessing neonicotinoids, aka “neonics,” a commonly used class of insecticides considered one of the world’s environmentally safest. The bill awaits the governor’s signature.

    There is no safer replacement product nor one as effective.

    In order to make the legislation less objectionable, it was amended to allow the sale of neonics on a product-by-product basis unless the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation provides a written justification for emergency use every year. This might seem like a good political compromise: Urban liberal politicians can say they did something for their constituents, and conservatives, many of whose constituents are farmers in rural areas, can say they did their best and prevented an outright ban.

    However, this “solution” will end badly for growers and the food system. How can I predict that? The experiment has already been run: For the past five years, an identical scenario has been playing out among European growers, politicians, and anti-pesticide activist groups. Spoiler alert: this saga has proven catastrophic for growers, birds, bees, consumers, and the environment – and the same would be true in New York... (MORE - details)
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    It seems that something is hurting honey bees, the pollinator that feeds perhaps as much as 60 % of the world's animals.

    It is time we identified the cause of that which probably lies in pesticides. In China , there are already regions where the bees are gone and pollination is achieved by people standing on ladders dusting the flowers with feather dusters.
     
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  7. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The epitome of reckless, empty moral posturing for political gain is enacting a bogus solution or assuming a simple _X_ cause that's far too premature -- while crippling other things and livelihoods as a rippling consequence. Biasedly catering to the black and white ideological beliefs of activists and the personal profit interests of organic farmers (i.e., the self-righteousness, myths, and pseudoscience of cult-like movements) isn't a substitute for long-term science research finding a legit culprit or complexity of causes for an _X_.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder#Possible_causes

    The mechanisms of CCD are still unknown, but many causes are currently being considered, such as pesticides, mites, fungi, beekeeping practices (such as the use of antibiotics or long-distance transportation of beehives), malnutrition, poor quality queens, starvation, other pathogens, and immunodeficiencies. The current scientific consensus is that no single factor is causing CCD, but that some of these factors in combination may lead to CCD either additively or synergistically.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticide_toxicity_to_bees#Colony_collapse_disorder

    Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a syndrome that is characterized by the sudden loss of adult bees from the hive. Many possible explanations for it have been proposed, but no one primary cause has been found. The US Department of Agriculture indicated in a 2010 report to Congress that a combination of factors could be causing colony collapse disorder, including pesticides, pathogens, and parasites. Although pesticides were suspected to be part of the problem, a survey of healthy and CCD-affected colonies revealed similar levels of pesticides in wax and pollen.


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    EXCERPT (Sabine Hossenfelder): . . . So the problems that wild bees face are similar to those of honey bees, but they have an additional problem which is… honeybees. Honey bees compete with wild bees for food and habitat and they also pass on viruses. Now, a big honey bee colony can deal with viruses by throwing out the infected bees. But this doesn’t work for wild bees because they don’t live in large colonies. And worse, when honey bees and wild bees fight for food they seem to both lose out.

    [...] If all this sounds really complicated, that’s indeed the major message. Forget about quantum gravity: ecological systems are way more complex. There are so many things going on that we never had a chance to properly study in the first place, so we have no idea what’s happening now.

    [...] If you have a garden, you can help the wild bees by preserving the variety of native flowers [the original native habitats they depended on are disappearing]. Quite literally, let a thousand flowers bloom...


    Whatever Happened to the Bee Apocalypse?

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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2023
  8. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Problematic Papers from Zhejiang University
    https://scienceintegritydigest.com/2023/06/14/problematic-papers-from-zhejiang-university/

    This post describes a set of over 20 papers with mostly image problems from the Department of Pharmacology at the School of Medicine of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. All papers have Professor Ximei Wu as the common – and often corresponding – author. The Wu lab conducts research on stem cell and bone development, and their papers contain many images of Western blots and immunohistochemistry experiments.

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    Profiles, motives and experiences of authors publishing in predatory journals: OMICS as a case study
    https://hal.science/hal-04130294v1

    ABSTRACT: The paper aims to understand the context and drivers of researchers' decision to submit a manuscript to a predatory journal. Using OMICS as a case study and asking authors for their views, the paper presents their profile, motivations and publishing experiences. The methodology is based on a questionnaire sent by email to all authors of articles published in OMICS (+2200). The authors were asked about 1/ the factors that influenced their decision to submit their article, 2/ their publishing predatory journal. At the same time, it reveals some of the strategies used by OMICS to persuade authors to submit their papers. The findings will help to inform institutional policies that seek to put in place efficient measures to combat predatory publishing.

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    Censorship at the American Psychological Association
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2023/05/22/censorship-at-the-american-psychological-association/

    INTRO: The publishing process in academic psychology journals isn’t typically known for its drama or intrigue. It’s true that there can be frustrations and challenges for aspiring authors. These include obtaining timely feedback from peer reviewers; adequately addressing often-disparate concerns and revision recommendations; and waiting the many months that frequently elapse between submitting a manuscript and its hoped-for publication. Nevertheless, there’s little doubt that articles published in reputable scientific journals play an essential role in advancing our understanding of human behavior.

    Sometimes, however, a manuscript can become ensnared by behind-the-scenes maneuvering and decision-making that have little to do with the merits of the article itself. In such cases, non-scholarly considerations supersede the well-established guideposts of impartial peer review and unbiased evaluation of a submission’s worthiness for publication. That was apparently the unfortunate fate of “A Military/Intelligence Operational Perspective on the American Psychological Association’s Weaponization of Psychology Post-9/11.” This article’s circuitous journey bears recounting here as a cautionary tale for the profession and for the APA... (MORE - details)
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  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The scandal of unpublished research
    https://edzardernst.com/2023/06/the-scandal-of-unpublished-research/

    EXCERPT: . . . The authors concluded that their study shows that a substantial amount of studies researchers perform remain unpublished.

    I find this truly shocking!

    • Researchers are able to do research only because they receive financial and other support from elsewhere. Therefore, they have an ethical obligation to publish it. The reasons frequently given for not publishing research are nothing well and truly invalid:
    • Lack of time is a mere excuse; if researchers had the time to get the grants, permissions, etc. they simply must have the time to finish the job properly.
    • Researchers changing jobs is an equally flawed excuse; if someone changes position, he/she is obliged to finish the job they were doing. A surgeon can also not leave mid-surgery because he has a better offer.
    • ‘Null results’ is even worse as a reason. Null results are just as important as positive findings – occasionally they are even more important. If researchers fail to realize this, they simply disqualify themselves as researchers.

    ‘Rejections during peer review’ is complete nonsense. Everyone who submits papers for publication gets rejected once in a while. In this case, one learns from the peer-review comments, improves the paper in question, and re-submits it to another journal... (MORE - missing details)
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  10. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The ideological subversion of biology
    https://skepticalinquirer.org/2023/06/the-ideological-subversion-of-biology/

    SUMMARY (Jerry A. Coyne & Luana S. Maroja): Biology faces a grave threat from “progressive” politics that are changing the way our work is done, delimiting areas of biology that are taboo and will not be funded by the government or published in scientific journals, stipulating what words biologists must avoid in their writing, and decreeing how biology is taught to students and communicated to other scientists and the public through the technical and popular press.

    We wrote this article not to argue that biology is dead, but to show how ideology is poisoning it. The science that has brought us so much progress and understanding—from the structure of DNA to the green revolution and the design of COVID-19 vaccines—is endangered by political dogma strangling our essential tradition of open research and scientific communication.

    And because much of what we discuss occurs within academic science, where many scientists are too cowed to speak their minds, the public is largely unfamiliar with these issues. Sadly, by the time they become apparent to everyone, it might be too late... (MORE - details)

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    Transgender detransition is a taboo topic, but data shows it’s on the rise
    https://bigthink.com/health/transgender-detransition/

    SUMMARY: Previous research based on data collected prior to 2015 found that just 1% of people detransition after undergoing gender-affirming therapy. However, studies conducted in the past few years find that the rate is likely between 5% and 10%. The increase could be due to reduced scrutiny before starting hormone therapy. Transgender issues have unfortunately grown ideologically charged, even in the scientific community. Both transitioners and detransitioners deserve utmost and equal care and compassion, as well as unbiased scientific study... (MORE - details)
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  11. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Thirty years on, there is even more evidence that GMO food are safe.
    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/update-on-gmos-and-health/

    EXCERPTS: The first GMO food was approved in 1994 (a GMO tomato that is no longer on the market), so we are getting close to 30 years of GMOs. Opponents of GMOs falsely claim that they have not been studied enough (there is more evidence for their safety than other food products) and that there may be long term unknown risks. They were wrong 30 years ago, but it was at least true that GMO introduction into the food market and animal feed was new. But the “new” argument, by necessity, doesn’t age well. By now, if there were any actual risk to GMO foods, we would likely be seeing the result – and we are not.

    [...] As an aside, I find it ironic that a large number of available crops were produced over the last century through mutation breeding. This technique uses chemical or radiation to dramatically increase the rate of mutation (a thousand to a million fold) to increase the number of varieties to select from. But mutation breeding is not considered GMO or bioengineered. Many other crops are hybrids, even forced hybrids that would not occur in nature. But labeling such crops would be pointless, and banning them impossible, and they constitute virtually our entire agricultural industry... (MORE - missing details)

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    The Evolution of Anti-Evolutionism
    https://skepticalinquirer.org/2023/06/the-evolution-of-anti-evolutionism/

    INTRO: Anti-evolutionism is a quintessential and particularly pernicious type of pseudoscience. Quintessential because it is both common and characterized by many of the classic hallmarks of pseudoscience. Pernicious because it directly aims at undermining both science, and education more broadly, in accordance with its religious ideological roots.

    Yet, rather ironically, even anti-evolutionist tactics evolve. And even more ironically, such evolution can be documented and quantified by using the very same phylogenetic reconstruction techniques that evolutionary biologists normally employ to understand the historical relationships among biological species. A paper published a few years ago by Nicholas Matzke in Science is a splendid example of this approach... (MORE - details)
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  12. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Plagiarism scandal engulfs high-profile academic in Latvia
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06/23/plagiarism-scandal-engulfs-high-profile-academic-in-latvia/

    Two years after it was quietly retracted “due to plagiarism,” a paper by a prominent researcher in Latvia has set the country’s media ablaze, drawing comments from, among others, the minister of education and science and the rector of a leading university.

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    Financial advisor failed to disclose he had sued the organization his paper criticized
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...d-sued-the-organization-his-paper-criticized/

    Earlier this year, a financial advisor published a paper purporting to find that his colleagues who had pursued accreditation as “Certified Financial Planners” (CFPs) were more likely to engage in misconduct. What the paper didn’t mention: That he had sued the CFP Board, the organization that offered that certification, and given up his own CFP marks “over a dispute regarding the integrity of the CFP Board’s disciplinary process,” according to a correction to the article published in April.

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    In a Tipster’s Note, a View of Science Publishing’s Achilles Heel
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...-a-view-of-science-publishings-achilles-heel/

    On paper, data scientist Gunasekaran Manogaran has had a stellar scientific career. [...] Emails obtained by Undark, however, suggest some researchers have doubts about his publishing record.

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    ‘Deplorable’: Imaging journal to retract nearly 80 papers for compromised peer review
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...nearly-80-papers-for-compromised-peer-review/

    A journal co-published by two scientific societies is retracting nearly 80 papers after an “investigation into peer review fraud.”

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    Paper retracted more than eight months after author admitted to plagiarism
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...t-months-after-author-admitted-to-plagiarism/

    He made a stark admission: the paper contained plagiarism [...] But the paper remained in place.
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  13. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The deadly legacy of a stem cell charlatan
    https://www.bmj.com/content/381/bmj.p1367

    Paolo Macchiarini misled the world over his breakthroughs in regenerative medicine, but why did most of the institutions that supported him bear no responsibility for hosting a rogue stem cell surgeon? It’s time for them to launch full and independent investigations, argue John Rasko and Carl Power.

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    The Rise and Fall of the Mpemba Effect
    https://skepticalinquirer.org/2023/06/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-mpemba-effect/

    EXCERPTS: . . . A few years after Mpemba’s discovery [Mpemba effect], prominent British physics professor and diplomat Denis Osborne visited Mpemba’s school for a guest presentation. During the Q&A session after the presentation, young Mpemba again brought up his discovery, and again he was derided by his teachers and fellow students.

    But the distinguished diplomat had become intrigued, and he carried out experiments..

    [...] The article by Mpemba and Osborne describes in detail how the young, innocent Mpemba was misunderstood and scoffed at when recounting his discovery. None of his teachers took him seriously. Naturally, this engages the reader’s sympathy for Mpemba. The picture painted is of an enthusiastic and incorruptible youngster colliding with a narrow-minded establishment. ... Osborne’s experiments and the article reporting the outcomes of these experiments are a heart-warming happy end fit for a Hollywood movie—one that puts the Cinderella story in a twentieth-century academic context.

    [...] On a number of counts the article by Mpemba and Osborne gets it wrong. The derision Mpemba experienced was based on sound scientific intuition. The Mpemba Effect is an assault on the insight and understanding that one acquires over many years of studying physics.

    [...] The way in which the Mpemba Effect is written about has changed ... Articles in which exotic mechanisms are postulated to explain the Mpemba Effect no longer abound... (MORE - missing details)

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    Joe Rogan wants a “debate” on vaccine science. Don’t give it to him.
    https://www.vox.com/2023/6/22/23768539/rogan-rfk-hotez-debate-vaccine-deniers-better

    INTRO: Last week, Joe Rogan aired a conversation on his podcast with longtime vaccine misinformation spreader and current not-inconsequential Joe Biden primary challenger Robert F. Kennedy Jr. According to an article in Vice, the three-hour episode was “an orgy of unchecked vaccine misinformation, some conspiracy-mongering about 5G technology and wifi, and, of course, Rogan once again praising ivermectin, an ineffective faux COVID treatment.”

    On Twitter, Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at Baylor College of Medicine, criticized the conversation. In response, Rogan invited Hotez to debate vaccines with Kennedy on his show. Hotez declined, instead offering Rogan a one-on-one conversation. Rogan insisted on a debate, and Elon Musk popped into his replies with a jab at Hotez, implying Hotez was afraid of the debate, afraid of being proven wrong. On Sunday, two people, evidently spurred into action by the kerfuffle online, harassed Hotez at his Houston home.

    Still, Hotez refused to debate RFK. Good.

    “Hotez made the right choice,” wrote epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina and physician Kristen Panthagani Tuesday in an issue of Jetelina’s newsletter.

    It’s tempting to engage in debates with people who disagree on matters of fact, said Jetelina — but what results can look more like a UFC match than a forum for learning, and can actually result in further entrenching polarized perspectives.

    Here’s why debates are actually a bad forum for discussing contentious scientific issues — and what works better...
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  14. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    BMJ journal retracts e-cigarette paper after authors disclose tobacco industry funding late in the process
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...tobacco-industry-funding-late-in-the-process/

    BMJ Open has retracted a paper describing a study in which people with diabetes will be switched from cigarettes to vaping after the journal learned – late in the process of publication – that the authors were indirectly funded by the tobacco company, Philip Morris International.

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    Science paper marked with expression of concern after readers pointed out data issue
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...concern-after-readers-pointed-out-data-issue/

    A paper published in Science two years ago has been flagged with an expression of concern while the editors give the authors a chance to correct a data issue identified by two different readers.

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    How can universities and journals better work together on research misconduct?
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...-better-work-together-on-research-misconduct/

    When it comes to delays in correcting the scientific record — and less-than-helpful retraction notices — it’s not uncommon to see journals blaming universities for being slow and less than forthcoming, and universities blaming journals for being impatient and not respecting the confidentiality of their processes. So in 2021 and 2022, a group of university research integrity officers, journal editors and others gathered to discuss those issues.

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    “Truly devastating”: Four journals won’t get new Impact Factors this year because of citation shenanigans
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...rs-this-year-because-of-citation-shenanigans/

    Clarivate, the company that assigns journals Impact Factors, this year will not give four journals updated versions of the controversial metric used by many institutions and publications as a shorthand for quality.

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    Exclusive: Researcher has “ceased employment” at university amid investigation and retraction
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...university-amid-investigation-and-retraction/

    A neurology researcher in Australia is no longer employed at his former university in the midst of a research misconduct investigation, Retraction Watch has learned. And the work of a co-author at another institution also is being assessed for possible research misconduct after sleuths alerted the university to comments on PubPeer about potential data issues in his papers.

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    Fired OSU postdoc charged with forgery admitted to faking data, feds say
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...ith-forgery-admitted-to-faking-data-feds-say/

    A cancer researcher who was terminated from one postdoc position and resigned another faked data in multiple papers and grant applications, according to the U.S. Office of Research Integrity.

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    Editor won’t investigate data concerns about paper linking anti-prostitution laws to increased rape
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/06...ing-anti-prostitution-laws-to-increased-rape/

    The scientist, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent a detailed email to an editor of the Journal of Law and Economics, which had published the paper last November, outlining concerns about the data and methods the authors used.

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    Can you trust a Harvard dishonesty researcher?
    https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/...esty-research-fraud-francesca-gino-dan-ariely

    The hard problem of faked data in science.

    INTRO: Francesca Gino is a Harvard Business School professor who studies, among other things, dishonesty. How often do people lie and cheat when they think they can get away with it? How can people be prompted to lie or cheat less often?

    Those are some great questions. But it’s been a rough few years for the field of dishonesty studies because it has turned out that several of the researchers were, well, making up their data. The result is a fascinating insight into dishonesty, if not the one that the authors intended...
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    My Conversation with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
    https://pauloffit.substack.com/p/my-conversation-with-robert-f-kennedy

    Paul Offit: Twenty years ago, I had a one-hour conversation with RFK Jr. In his current campaign for president, he has referred to that conversation during public appearances. It’s time to set the record straight.

    [..] Soon after our conversation, on July 14, 2005, RFK Jr. published an article in "Rolling Stone" that also appeared on the website, Salon.com. It was titled “Deadly Immunity.” Kennedy had sandbagged me. According to the article, I was part of a group of government agents and industry insiders that had "colluded with Big Pharma to hide the risks of thimerosal from the public."

    The article was full of misstatements...
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    4 reasons not teaching evolution in schools is immoral
    https://theconversation.com/4-reasons-not-teaching-evolution-in-schools-is-immoral-208653

    EXCERPTS: . . . Without evolution, the living world is a kaleidoscope of disconnected form and colour. With evolution, it is breathtakingly coherent...

    [...] Because of evolution’s centrality to biology, its omission in any substantive course seems a matter of serious neglect. Today many countries in the world, predominantly Islamic ones, do not teach evolution, as it is said to contradict religious teachings.

    Recently, India also removed evolution from the formal education of students up to Year 10. This decision was supposedly related to its right-wing government’s commitment to promoting Hindu-nationalist perspectives. [Decoloniality, or escaping the ethnic oppression of Eurocentric knowledge systems.]

    These examples [...] are serious attempts to restrict people thinking about evolution and, ultimately, to delegitimise science for ideological gain.

    [...] Morally speaking, at least four related points present themselves in favour of the inclusion of evolution in any biology curriculum.

    1. Equality of opportunity

    [...] 2. Free inquiry

    [...] 3. Fairness and public reasoning

    [...] 4. Intellectual honesty, integrity and a commitment to scientific truths ... (MORE - missing details)
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2023
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    Publisher blacklists authors after preprint cites made-up studies
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/07...authors-after-preprint-cites-made-up-studies/

    Last month, a millipede expert in Denmark received an email notifying him that one of his publications had been mentioned in a new manuscript on Preprints.org. But when the researcher, Henrik Enghoff, downloaded the paper, he learned that it cited his work for something off-topic. Stranger still, the authors of the now-withdrawn preprint, a group of researchers in China and Africa, also referenced two papers by Enghoff that he knew he hadn’t written. It turned out they didn’t exist.

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    Editors of public health journal resign over differences with publisher
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/07...urnal-resign-over-differences-with-publisher/

    The co-editors in chief and most editorial board members of the journal Critical Public Health have resigned their roles to start a new, independent journal, citing differences with their publisher, Taylor & Francis.

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    Scientist sues publisher to block expression of concern
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/07/05/scientist-sues-publisher-to-block-expression-of-concern/

    A gastroenterology researcher has sued a scientific journal to stop it from publishing an expression of concern for one of her papers.

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    Former UPenn prof faked more than 50 figures, says government watchdog
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/07...ore-than-50-figures-says-government-watchdog/

    A pharmacy researcher who left the University of Pennsylvania sometime last year has been found guilty of research misconduct in multiple federal grant applications and five published papers, four of which have already been retracted.
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    Peer review is porous and the Bastards know that now
    https://jamesclaims.substack.com/p/peer-review-is-porous-and-the-bastards

    INTRO (James Heathers): This morning was the most depressed I have been with Pandemic Science. Hopefully I can finish this before I cheer up. I would prefer not to waste a mood this black on morning bagatelles like ‘coffee’ and ‘having feelings’.

    I have taken to capitalizing Pandemic Science not simply because I promiscuously capitalize things (I do), and certainly not because the proper noun is in common usage elsewhere (it is not).

    Rather, because it feels like the rules have changed, and we have rapidly entered a new and exceedingly unpleasant era of producing knowledge about the natural world.

    A hook has been slipped, a catch has been missed, an up has been f#cked.

    I will explain with examples...
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    Research Integrity in the UK: Annual statement 2023
    https://zenodo.org/record/8117154

    UK Committee on Research Integrity. INTRO: This is the first annual statement produced by the UK Committee on Research Integrity. It gives a snapshot of research integrity in the UK, highlighting the work already being done by others and identifying areas for further work.

    We have structured our annual statement around the five key principles set out in the UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity. These are: rigour, transparency and open communication, honesty, care and respect, and accountability. As well as addressing the five principles, our statement includes a section on research misconduct.

    We have identified several areas where there is more work needed, and where we as a committee will focus our energy over the next two years. In developing this statement, we have used the most recent available evidence and carried out new analyses. We have described the state of the nation qualitatively and found valuable indicators of the health of the system and markers for us to understand trends across future statements...
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    The effectiveness of peer review in identifying issues leading to retractions
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1751157723000482

    ABSTRACT: Retractions are necessary to remove flawed research from citable literature but cannot offset the negative impact those publications have on science advances and public trust. The editorial peer-review process is intended to prevent flawed research from being published.

    However, there is limited empirical evidence of its effectiveness in identifying issues that lead to retractions. This study analyzed the peer-review comments (provided by Clarivate Analytics) for a sample of retracted publications (provided by Retraction Watch) to investigate how the peer-review process effectively detects the areas where the retraction causes lie and whether reviewer characteristics are related to the effectiveness.

    We found that a small proportion of peer reviews suggested rejections during the peer review stage, while about half suggested acceptance or minor revision for those later retracted papers. The peer-review process was more effective in identifying retraction causes related to data, methods, and results than those related to text plagiarism and references.

    Additionally, factors such as reviewer seniority and the level of match between reviewers’ expertise and the submission were significant in determining the possibility of peer reviews identifying suspicious areas in submissions. We discussed potential insights from these findings and called for collective efforts to prevent retractions...
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  19. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    An easy way to solve the problem of garbage in scientific journals
    https://bigthink.com/the-present/double-blinding-peer-review-academic-bias/

    KEY POINTS: Peer review is the process for screening scientific knowledge, but it has plenty of warts. A recent paper looked at whether more anonymity improves the process by reducing bias. Hiding researchers’ names and universities from reviewers appears to produce a fairer outcome.
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  20. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    University finds former lecturer with two retractions plagiarized in seven publications
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/07...etractions-plagiarized-in-seven-publications/

    A former lecturer in the modern languages department of the University of St Andrews in Scotland committed plagiarism in seven papers published between 2014 and 2022, according to the results of an institutional investigation.

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    University cuts anesthesiology researcher’s funding amid four retractions
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/07...gy-researchers-funding-amid-four-retractions/

    An anesthesiologist who had his funding revoked for fabricating data has earned a fourth retraction for publishing the same data in two Springer Nature journals.

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    The new retraction record holder is a German anesthesiologist, with 184
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/07...holder-is-a-german-anesthesiologist-with-184/

    The German anesthesiologist Joachim Boldt has lost 20 more papers since January 2023, earning him the top spot in our leaderboard, with 184 retractions.

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    Editorial board member dropped from journal site after Retraction Watch-Undark report links him to paper mill
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/07...-watch-undark-report-links-him-to-paper-mill/

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    ‘Shocked and flabbergasted’: Journal updates duplicate article it had said was “sufficiently” different from original
    https://retractionwatch.com/2023/07...aid-was-sufficiently-different-from-original/

    A journal for conference proceedings which published a duplicate article has updated the later version, after originally telling the researcher who noticed the duplication that the articles were different enough to warrant publishing both.
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  21. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Activist Vandana Shiva is a mortal threat to the most vulnerable
    https://www.acsh.org/news/2023/07/13/activist-vandana-shiva-mortal-threat-most-vulnerable-17186

    INTRO: Indian activist Vandana Shiva opposes the tools and practices of modern agriculture and science and advocates regressive policies that cause widespread malnourishment, famine, and death to the very people she claims to champion. And she's no friend of the environment, either. She should never be given a podium.

    Below is the text of a letter sent to officials at London's UnHerd Club in anticipation of an appearance there on July 18 of anti-science, anti-technology, anti-innovation activist Vandana Shiva.

    The signatories of the letter, of whom I am one, wished to make them aware of Shiva's longstanding perfidy and mendacity and the damage she has wrought, especially to the world's poorest and most vulnerable.

    In addition to the link to my ACSH.org article cited in the letter, I have also written about Vandana Shiva elsewhere, including here... (MORE - the letter)
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    COMMENT: Due to the self-conflicting throes of its own sporadic guilt-trips, the Eurocentric establishment supported left-wing decolonization movements and assorted grievances. Then hilariously starts whining down the road when the former, oppressed populations begin predictably rejecting Western standards and science. Implementing their own right-wing nationalist stances that revive, promote, and protect local, indigenous beliefs and cultural traditions.
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  22. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    How many clinical-trial studies in medical journals are fake or fatally flawed? In October 2020, John Carlisle reported a startling estimate.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-02299-w

    EXCERPTS: Carlisle, an anaesthetist who works for England’s National Health Service, is renowned for his ability to spot dodgy data in medical trials. He is also an editor at the journal Anaesthesia, and in 2017, he decided to scour all the manuscripts he handled that reported a randomized controlled trial (RCT) — the gold standard of medical research. Over three years, he scrutinized more than 500 studies.

    [...] “I think journals should assume that all submitted papers are potentially flawed and editors should review individual patient data before publishing randomised controlled trials,” Carlisle wrote in his report.

    [...] The issue is, in part, a subset of the notorious paper-mill problem: over the past decade, journals in many fields have published tens of thousands of suspected fake papers, some of which are thought to have been produced by third-party firms, termed paper mills.

    [...] Many research-integrity specialists say that the problem exists, but its extent and impact are unclear. Some doubt whether the issue is as bad as the most alarming examples suggest. “We have to recognize that, in the field of high-quality evidence, we increasingly have a lot of noise. There are some good people championing that and producing really scary statistics. But there are also a lot in the academic community who think this is scaremongering,” says Žarko Alfirević, a specialist in fetal and maternal medicine at the University of Liverpool, UK.

    This year, he and others are conducting more studies to assess how bad the problem is. Initial results from a study led by Alfirević are not encouraging... (MORE - missing details)

    PAPER: https://associationofanaesthetists-publications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/anae.15263
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  23. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Is evolutionary biology racist?
    https://whyevolutionistrue.com/2023/07/19/is-evolutionary-biology-racist/

    INTRO (Jerry Coyne): The first article below is from a creationist website, Creation Evolution Headlines, and its author is a young-earth creationist. Oddly, though, its own headline and its discussion isn’t too far from what some “progressive” evolutionists maintain: evolutionary biology is racist, which explains the paucity of minorities in the field.

    The first paper, then, is not that different in its theses from the second and third papers below, although both were published in academic journal, Social Psychology in Education and in Evolution: Education and Outreach; and both papers include at least one evolutionary biologist as an author.

    In both papers religion is mentioned: African Americans are more religious than whites, and that makes them resistant to studying evolution. This may well be true, but I don’t know what to do about it. Here’s one anecdote I’ve told before.

    I was invited to lecture on evolution to a black “magnet school” (a high school) on Chicago’s South Side. At the end of my talk, a girl stood up and asked me if I was saying that Noah’s Flood and (as I recall) the Garden of Eden didn’t really exist. I had to tell the truth and say, “Yes, that’s what I think.”

    It caused a ruckus, and I could clearly see that the students became resistant to my message. (After the talk, the principal took me aside and said I really should have mentioned all the innovations that Africans had made, like inventing the airplane.) ...... (MORE - details)

    The papers discussed:

    (1) Blacks realize evolution is racist, thus few become evolutionary biologists
    https://crev.info/2021/09/blacks-realize-evolutionism-racist/

    (2) Why are there so few ethnic minorities in ecology and evolutionary biology? Challenges to inclusion and the role of sense of belonging
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11218-019-09538-x

    (3) African Americans in evolutionary science: where we have been, and what’s next
    https://evolution-outreach.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12052-019-0110-5
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