Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Bring me fraud's head on a platter!"


Writing on physicist fraud:

"Science was corrected in the Schön case, but not by itself – only because individual scientists made corrections. From would-be replicators in dozens of labs to many sceptics, only a couple of researchers were transformed into whistle-blowers by the unlikely pattern of [duplicated] evidence."

Reich continues, "Fraud was able to stifle questions about Schön's lab technique that would otherwise have been asked, and to turn review processes at journals into opportunities for additional fabrication. Other scientists' support of the fraud was unwitting, but the decision to place so much trust in a colleague was a conscious rationalisation that continues to be defended in science to this day."

Who is this fraud, and why is he stifling me? Even Reich, it seems, must lapse into passive aggression. How could so many be fooled for so long? As Family Circus would say, "Beats me. Not me. I dunno."

It isn't the first time gobbledy-gook cooked books have been taken for gospel. Won't be the last. Still, it self-corrects sooner or later. There's that.

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