Science

Behind Science Fraud, Chapter 5

Featured image We began this new occasional series with the story of the Science magazine study about how people changed their mind on gay marriage based on a short conversations with a real live gay people, but in which the data was faked by the graduate student co-author, Michael LaCour. It now appears that LaCour, whose pending appointment at Princeton based on his work is in doubt, made up more than just »

Behind Science Fraud, Chapter 4

Featured image Richard Horton, the editor of The Lancet, the pre-eminent medical journal that was stung by one of the worst science frauds of the last decade (Andrew Wakefield’s phony vaccine-autism link paper), has a fascinating note reporting on the conversations at a recent conference of scientists in the UK about the problems of scientific review. A few of his statements are genuinely eye-popping: “A lot of what is published is incorrect.” I’m »

Behind Science Fraud, Chapter 3

Featured image Our first installment in this series took note of the NY Times op-ed by Adam Marcus, managing editor of Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, and Ivan Oransky, global editorial director of MedPage Today (both are co-founders of retractionwatch.com), but now they’re back with another, longer piece at Nautilus that goes into more detail, and offers more shocking examples (such as the Japanese scientist who fabricated a whopping 183 papers that got »

Behind Science Fraud, Chapter 2

Featured image We’ve been following the story of the apparently fraudulent article in Science about whether people will change their mind about gay marriage after a short conversation with a real live gay person (I guess watching Will & Grace and Modern Family reruns just doesn’t quite do the trick), as well as yesterday’s excellent op-ed in the NY Times about the pervasive problem of scientific journals and media credulity. Tomorrow’s New York Times »

Science and Scientism, Revisited

Featured image Steve wrote an important essay here a couple of weeks ago, titled Science Versus Scientism. Ken Haapala, President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, leads off this week’s The Week That Was with an appreciation of Steve’s post: Science and Scientism: One of the chosen ones for the political witch hunt, Steven Hayward wrote a short essay differentiating between the practice of science, which can be described as objectively »

John Nash, RIP

Featured image Sad news this morning of the car accident death, at age 86, of Nobel Prize winning economist and mathematician John Nash, made more publicly famous (if not entirely accurately) in A Beautiful Mind. A psychiatrist friend posted the following note on Facebook about the news: Let me try, surely in vain, to set the record straight as there are so many subtle but horrifying myths that the Left has created »

Behind Science Fraud

Featured image We reported here the other day about the latest fraudulent article in Science magazine, but don’t miss the op-ed about the broader problem of science fraud in today’s New York Times by Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky (who is one of the founders of RetractionWatch). Here’s the most relevant excerpt: Science fetishizes the published paper as the ultimate marker of individual productivity. And it doubles down on that bias with »

Paging Dr. Emily Litella: Another Science Fraud Exposed

Featured image Last December Science magazine published the results of a survey that found people who had a conversation of at little as 20 minutes with a gay person changed their mind about gay marriage. You may well wonder why Science, usually concerned with settled scientific matters like global warming climate change, would jump on a research survey more suited for a public opinion or social science journal, and further you’d wonder »

Science Versus “Scientism”

Featured image I’ve decided I’m going to call myself an “Islamoskeptic,” because it neatly combines two left-wing, debate-stifling epithets at one stroke. If you criticize Islam, you’re an “Islamophobe”—the moral equivalent of a racist, so shut up we don’t have to listen to you any more. And if you align at all with climate skepticism and criticize any aspect of climate change orthodoxy, you’re met with the shutdown term of “science denier.” »

The Peerless Pitfalls of Peer Review

Featured image Back finally to an old topic leftover from the climate inquisition a few weeks back. One of our lefty commenters thought it important to raise the issue that I don’t publish “peer-reviewed” articles about climate issues in the academic literature, which is true. It’s something I have in common with Al Gore. (Heh.) Besides, I prefer to write in plain English for human beings rather than the 10 people who »

#Shirtgate explained

Featured image The feminist establishment has gone completely around the bend. I’m not sure when it happened.; I doubt it is a recent development. In her prescient 1972 book The New Chastity and Other Arguments Against Women’s Liberation, Midge Decter examined the second-generation literature of feminism and found it rotten at the core, if not rotten to the core. I haven’t kept up with the literature. My impression, however, is that the »

Obama’s “Settled Science”

Featured image Remember how Obama promised in his first inaugural address to “restore science to its rightful place”? Beyond this gratuitous dig at the outgoing Bush administration, it is curious to see that Obama’s idea of scientific authority is the egregious John Holdren, whom Obama chose as his science adviser. For Halloween our pal Rob Bradley of the Institute for Energy Research compiled a list of Holdren’s greatest hits over at the »

Breach of protocol, or something

Featured image The NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd this morning (video below). The occasion of his appearance was the new case of Ebola that has been contracted by a Dallas “health worker” who treating the patient from Liberia who died last week. How could the health worker have gotten infected with Ebola? “What obviously happened, unfortunately, is that there was an inadvertent breach of protocol,” »

Beyond Catalist, perhaps

Featured image Last week J. Christian Adams posted an important and informative column on “‘CATALIST’: The Democrats’ database for fundamentally transforming America.” This was all news to me, I confess, and I am grateful to have it brought to my attention. Please check it out. Catalist, as I understand it, is the database that, among other things, helps Democrats microtarget voters. Adams points out that Mitt Romney won independents in the 2012 »

Trust Us, We’re Scientists

Featured image So if the scientific establishment is so robust and full of integrity and credibility, how does this happen: This scientific journal just had to retract 60 papers One of the biggest cases of scientific misconduct in history was uncovered this week. On July 8, scientific publisher SAGE announced that it was retracting a whopping 60 scientific papers connected to Taiwanese researcher Peter Chen, in what appears to be an elaborate work »

Charles Does Indeed Blow

Featured image Outside of universities, the other notable place with a shocking lack of ideological and cultural diversity is major media newsrooms.  While most newsrooms have the requisite numbers of women, minorities, and gays (nearly all of them liberal conformists), you will seldom find an evangelical Christian or an orthodox Jew. Hence you find New York Times columnist Charles Blow reflecting today that not only are lots of Americans Christians, but they »

Conservatives and Climate Policy

Featured image Not long ago the journal Issues in Science and Technology (a consortium publication of the National Academy of Sciences, Arizona State, and three other institutions) challenged me to write a piece about “Conservatism and Climate Science,” and the long piece is just now available online.  But it’s really not about climate science, but rather climate policy, and the heart of the article is a lengthy consideration of the problem of »