America’s top scientists are falling like tenpins over newly-disclosed ethics violations (https://www.yahoo.com/news/fall-top-us-scientists-points-ethics-gap-research-045350389.html), Yahoo News reports. Payola ain’t just for disc jockeys anymore.
Just to name three:
*A scientist who has authored “hundreds of articles on cancer research” has taken “millions of dollars” from pharmaceutical and medical supplies companies.
*Cornell has demanded the resignation of a top food scientist who reported “surprisingly positive results in dozens of his articles,” thirteen of which have already been pulled from the journals.
*A public health professor at Dartmouth has been credibly accused of rather a lot of plagiarism.
The scientific establishment has been reluctant to discuss these incidents, said one source, for fear “it would aid and abet anti-science forces,” whoever they might be. Well, we can’t have people being anti-science, can we? They might turn into Climate Change deniers. And everybody must believe in Evolution!
To those of us who grew up in the Fifties, in the Sputnik generation, Science was presented as the unimpeachable be-all and end-all of human endeavor. Sooner or later, Science would solve all our problems. Suddenly all the TV commercials featured actors in white lab coats: “Scientific studies say our product is the best!” We were expected to believe them, because Science never lies; and most of us did.
“Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” says the Bible (Isaiah 2:22). Right on.
Scientists are sinners like the rest of us. They are not unimpeachable fountains of pure truth. I suppose they might still be more honest than journalists, but that’s setting the bar about as low as you can set it without laying it on the ground.