When Scientists Go Bad
October 27, 2006 5:19 PM   Subscribe

When Scientists Go Bad
posted by MetaMonkey (26 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Therefore Creationism is right, and burying bacon wrapped in a sock will cure my arthritis. Right?
posted by davy at 5:28 PM on October 27, 2006


And none of those links even mention Cyril Burt.
posted by localroger at 5:37 PM on October 27, 2006


Scientists are people too.
posted by The Deej at 5:38 PM on October 27, 2006


Wow. A list of the ten most famous scientific frauds from 1992. Really, after Hwang, these all have to be viewed in a new light. That shit was just monumental. The balls on that motherfucker.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:57 PM on October 27, 2006


That third link isn't quite about scientists commiting fraud, so much as being coerced by the Bush administration to commit fraud, or have their careers ended prematurely.

Kind of an important distinction.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:00 PM on October 27, 2006


I'm glad you posted that third link. That shit is real. Friend in the Department of Fish & Game was telling me the political pressure she faced. Even when she could get her study the way she wanted, her recommendations still lost out to political concerns. (And she's very much a scientist's scientist, very by the books.)

It made her so bitter -- she went into conservation science because she wanted to help wildlife. But she found herself in a government agency headed by people trying to do the minimum to help species. That's why the Endangered Species Act isn't working. (That, plus the fact that the government doesn't even follow the law.)
posted by salvia at 6:30 PM on October 27, 2006


Oh yeah, and speaking of science fraud, see also Yucca Mountain.
posted by salvia at 6:34 PM on October 27, 2006


Blazecock, all the links to some extent are concerned not just with individuals, but with their motives and the systems that can reinforce or encourage fraudulent behaviour.
posted by MetaMonkey at 6:40 PM on October 27, 2006


This Japanese archaeological fraud unleashed a torrent of others confessing to less serious infractions, one of whom hanged himself forty years later.
posted by Rumple at 6:41 PM on October 27, 2006


Hmm, looks like the NYT link suddenly went log-in only, so here is bugmenot.
posted by MetaMonkey at 6:42 PM on October 27, 2006


A Stampede of Zebras is an award-winning play about scientific ethics by Robert G. Martin, Ph.D. of the National Institutes of Health. (Watch a clip there, but it's just a reading and they aren't, um, actors.) [Text]

(Robert G. Martin is the husband of Judith Martin.)
posted by dhartung at 6:42 PM on October 27, 2006


Interesting links. Thanks.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 7:08 PM on October 27, 2006


Four linked articles on the subject and none of them mentions Hwang Woo-suk? Come on...
posted by clevershark at 7:21 PM on October 27, 2006


clevershark, I'd figured he'd almost certainly have been discussed here before, although now a cursory search suggests otherwise. But really he is pretty much implied by the title alone, to anyone who has followed science at all recently.

Some info on Hwang Woo-suk and the fallout thereof.
posted by MetaMonkey at 7:31 PM on October 27, 2006


The stereotype of a fully rational and objective 'scientific method,' with individual scientists as logical (and interchangeable) robots, is self-serving mythology. ~ Stephen Jay Gould

When dealing with people remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice, and motivated by pride and vanity. ~ Dale Carnegie
posted by bevets at 7:51 PM on October 27, 2006


Oh Bevets, how I love you.

You have no idea what that quote from Gould means, do you?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:39 PM on October 27, 2006


Four linked articles on the subject and none of them mentions Hwang Woo-suk? Come on...

You mean Wong Wuk Suk, the stem cell guy, right?
posted by homunculus at 9:51 PM on October 27, 2006


This was an interesting post. Well done, MetaMonkey.
posted by tkolar at 10:33 PM on October 27, 2006


Yes very interesting - thanks!
posted by gomichild at 2:56 AM on October 28, 2006


What about Yakub, the evil scientist who created white people? He's the original bad scientist.

Sincerely,
Mayor X
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:52 AM on October 28, 2006


homunculus writes "You mean Wong Wuk Suk, the stem cell guy, right?"

That spelling's pretty fucked, man. Google fight! Hwang wins 428,000 to 4 (he's an even bigger winner if you make the hyphen optional).

I think you've managed to find a unique misspelling and point it out as a pissy pedantic correction on Metafilter. Congrats!

If I've stepped into a complex argument about the proper romanization of Korean names, please forgive me.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:20 AM on October 28, 2006


I think you've managed to find a unique misspelling and point it out as a pissy pedantic correction on Metafilter.

I was just being sarcastic, making fun of the Rep. who didn't seem to know his name or understand his research, but who tried to use his fraud with somatic cell nuclear transfer as a reason to reject embryonic stem cell research. The fraud Hwang Woo-suk commited was one of the worst, but this kind of opportunistic idiocy makes me just as mad.
posted by homunculus at 10:26 AM on October 28, 2006


homunculus writes "I was just being sarcastic, making fun of the Rep...."

Well, that clearly went a mile over my head. (But you gotta admit, there is a lot of misplaced pedantry here....)
posted by mr_roboto at 10:50 AM on October 28, 2006


Oh Bevets, how I love you.

I love you too [insert clever name here]
posted by bevets at 1:39 PM on October 28, 2006


Well, that clearly went a mile over my head. (But you gotta admit, there is a lot of misplaced pedantry here....)

Yes there is, and I wasn't being clear, so any misunderstanding was my fault. No worries.
posted by homunculus at 5:30 PM on October 28, 2006


2 hours, 23 minutes from the first mention of creationism to the first bevets post. He's getting slower, I think. Maybe old age has started to have effects on him besides senility.
posted by spazzm at 6:08 PM on October 28, 2006


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