The Retraction Wars: Is Science Broken?

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Sciborg_S_Patel

#1
The Retraction War

Scientists seek demigod status, journals want blockbuster results, and retractions are on the rise: is science broken?
....Retraction was meant to be a corrective for any mistakes or occasional misconduct in science but it has, at times, taken on a superhero persona instead. Like Superman, retraction can be too powerful, wiping out whole careers with a single blow. Yet it is also like Clark Kent, so mild it can be ignored while fraudsters continue publishing and receiving grants. The process is so wrought that just 5 per cent of scientific misconduct ever results in retraction, leaving an abundance of error in play to obfuscate the facts.

Scientists are increasingly aware of the amount of bad science out there – the word ‘reproducibility’ has become a kind of rallying cry for those who would reform science today. How can we ensure that studies are sound and can be reproduced by other scientists in separate labs?...
 
#2
The article ends on a quite encouraging note, suggesting that effective methods are gradually being adopted and suggesting that it will be increasingly difficult to get away with shenanigans:

Despite this kind of snafu, a relentless storm is reshaping the way science is conveyed and received today. Fraud and error are harder to hide, because of the democratising influence of technology and the world wide web. Plagiarism-detecting software, which can scan a paper and give a report within minutes, is widely available. Replication or manipulation of images is easier to sleuth out, because most papers are now widely available in digital versions viewable from any computer. The rise of online post-publication peer review is also reshaping the scientific endeavour before our very eyes.
The moral of this story is to promote these reforms, making these reforms mandatory.
 
#3
The Retraction War

Scientists seek demigod status, journals want blockbuster results, and retractions are on the rise: is science broken?
Retractions and Reproduction in science are propably kind of necessary, since no one will be convinced if we cant reproduce it unless we take every experiment and study for its face value. Even so, thats going a bit too far these days. It almost seems like a modern type of witch hunting. If thats how science is supposed to work, that scientists have to be afraid of their futures if they publish something - that cant be good. There must be another way to do that. Everyone can be wrong; theres no need to stomp those people to the ground because of it. Im not saying that the whole reproduction-testing cycle is absolutely wrong. It just isnt open to mistakes that are common for human beings.

But other things that this article stated are worrysome too. Magazines that are too reluctant to correct themselves? And whats even more important there: The ongoing competition between several magazines for media attention. Even so i dont know a better solution for all that stuff, it shouldnt be that way; Especially that other scientists are getting motivated to discredit their colleagues.
I personally think that science shouldnt be about getting more media attention or earing more money, but it seems like some people think differently there.
 
#4
The article ends on a quite encouraging note, suggesting that effective methods are gradually being adopted and suggesting that it will be increasingly difficult to get away with shenanigans:



The moral of this story is to promote these reforms, making these reforms mandatory.
Juicy fruit Jackson Jr. noted just the other day that from sci's joining this forum he/she has been on a rampage against materialism; this article is just another example from sci. You have highlighted the stories moral.
 
#5
Juicy fruit Jackson Jr. noted just the other day that from sci's joining this forum he/she has been on a rampage against materialism; this article is just another example from sci. You have highlighted the stories moral.
Super Sexy!

Sciborg is a lunatic. (and obviously Sciborg is a girl)
 
#6
Science - genuine science that is - is a method. It is not broken. What is termed science by most people is the officially accepted conclusions reached by those who are officially sanctioned to employ that method.

That said the premise of the article is more threatening to humans expanding their knowledge than anything happening in mainstream science. Even fraud is less of a hurdle than ideas such as focusing on things like reproducibility. Like Popper's falsifiability these are more arbitrary values being applied to the method. And since everyone thinks their conception of "sound science" is the accurate one, what the article is clamoring for will amount to more censorship and suppression of anything beyond a narrow status quo.
 
#7
Another crazy thing that resulted from 9/11 was the New Atheist movement. Sam Harris has stated that he began writing 'End of Faith' literally the day after 9/11, when it became clear to him that we were in a religious war. Then there's Christopher Hitchens who based the last decade of his career on 9/11 and resulting fiascos, trashing muslims and calling for aggressive actions against all fundamentalists wherever they may be. Dan Dennett has pretty much the same story as Harris. He wrote his book as a result of 9/11... Now pay attention. This is where it gets interesting. >>

Not a single muslim had anything to do with 9/11. :D

Isn't that hilarious?
 
#8
Science - genuine science that is - is a method. It is not broken. What is termed science by most people is the officially accepted conclusions reached by those who are officially sanctioned to employ that method.
The italics tell me you're really trying to drive home your point, which is a bit silly considering this is probably the most obvious point that's ever been made in the forum's history.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
Juicy fruit Jackson Jr. noted just the other day that from sci's joining this forum he/she has been on a rampage against materialism; this article is just another example from sci. You have highlighted the stories moral.
Why would I rampage against materialism?

Also this accusation of a "rampage" is funny coming from the guy who begged people to come from JREF to argue against Maaneli, who you called a "woo-monger of the worst kind."

As I recall you also made a thread on JREF begging people to argue against Bernardo?
 
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