The Crisis of Integrity-deficient Science

This post comes to us via Paul Driessen of CFACT.  He highlights a very serious problem.  Readers may want to weigh in with their own examples, some thoughts on why this is happening, and what possibly can be done about the problem.~ctm

Falsifying or ignoring data that don’t support conclusions or agendas is worse than junk science

Paul Driessen

The epidemic of agenda-driven science by press release and falsification has reached crisis proportions.

In just the past week: Duke University admitted that its researchers had falsified or fabricated data that were used to get $113 million in EPA grants – and advance the agency’s air pollution and “environmental justice” programs. A New England Journal of Medicine (NJEM) article and editorial claimed the same pollutants kill people – but blatantly ignored multiple studies demonstrating that there is no significant, evidence-based relationship between fine particulates and human illness or mortality.

In an even more outrageous case, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science’s journal Science published an article whose authors violated multiple guidelines for scientific integrity. The article claimed two years of field studies in three countries show exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides reduces the ability of honeybees and wild bees to survive winters and establish new populations and hives the following year. Not only did the authors’ own data contradict that assertion – they kept extensive data out of their analysis and incorporated only what supported their (pre-determined?) conclusions.

Some 90% of these innovative neonic pesticides are applied as seed coatings, so that crops absorb the chemicals into their tissue and farmers can target only pests that feed on the crops. Neonics largely eliminate the need to spray with old-line chemicals like pyrethroids that clearly do harm bees. But neonics have nevertheless been at the center of debate over their possible effects on bees, as well as ideological opposition in some quarters to agricultural use of neonics – or any manmade pesticides.

Laboratory studies had mixed results and were criticized for overdosing bees with far more neonics than they would ever encounter in the real world, predictably affecting their behavior and often killing them. Multiple field studies – in actual farmers’ fields – have consistently shown no adverse effects on honeybees at the colony level from realistic exposures to neonics. In fact, bees thrive in and around neonic-treated corn and canola crops in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere.

So how did the Dr. Ben Woodcock, et al. Center for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) field studies reach such radically different conclusions? After all, the researchers set up 33 sites in fields in Germany, Hungary and England, each one with groups of honeybee or wild bee colonies in or next to oilseed rape (canola) crops. Each group involved one test field treated with fungicides, a neonic and a pyrethroid; one field treated with a different neonic and fungicides; and one “control” group by a field treated only with fungicides. They then conducted multiple data analyses throughout the two-year trial period.

Their report and Science article supposedly presented all the results of their exhaustive research. They did not. The authors fudged the data, and the “peer reviewers” and AAAS journal editors failed to spot the massive flaws. Other reviewers (here, here and here) quickly found the gross errors, lack of transparency and misrepresentations – but not before the article and press releases had gone out far and wide.

Thankfully, and ironically, the Woodcock-CEH study was funded by Syngenta and Bayer, two companies that make neonics. That meant the companies received the complete study and all 1,000 pages of data – not just the portions carefully selected by the article authors. Otherwise, all that inconvenient research information would probably still be hidden from view – and the truth would never have come out.

Most glaring, as dramatically presented in a chart that’s included in each of the reviews just cited, there were far more data sets than suggested by the Science article. In fact, there were 258 separate honeybee statistical data analyses. Of the 258, a solid 238 found no effects on bees from neonics! Seven found beneficial effects from neonics! Just nine found harmful impacts, and four had insufficient data.

Not one group of test colonies in Germany displayed harmful effects, but five benefitted from neonics. Five in Hungary showed harm, but the nosema gut fungus was prevalent in Hungarian beehives during the study period; it could have affected bee foraging behavior and caused colony losses. But Woodcock and CEH failed to mention the problem or reflect it in their analyses. Instead, they blamed neonics.

In England, four test colony groups were negatively affected by neonics, while two benefitted, and the rest showed no effects. But numerous English hives were infested with Varroa mites, which suck on bee blood and carry numerous pathogens that they transmit to bees and colonies. Along with poor beekeeping and mite control practices, Varroa could have been the reason a number of UK test colonies died out during the study – but CEH blamed neonics.

(Incredibly, even though CEH’s control hives in England were far from any possible neonic exposure, they had horrendous overwinter bee losses: 58%, compared to the UK national average of 14.5% that year, while overwinter colony losses for CEH hives were 67-79% near their neonic-treated fields.)

In sum, fully 95% of all the hives studied by CEH demonstrated no effects or benefitted from neonic exposure – but the Science magazine authors chose to ignore them, and focus on nine hives (3% of the total) which displayed harmful impacts that they attributed to neonicotinoids.

Almost as amazing, CEH analyses found that nearly 95% of the time pollen and nectar in hives showed no measurable neonic residues. Even samples taken directly from neonic-treated crops did not have residues – demonstrating that bees in the CEH trials were likely never even exposed to neonics.

How then could CEH researchers and authors come to the conclusions they did? How could they ignore the 245 out of 258 honeybee statistical data analyses that demonstrated no effects or beneficial effects from neonics? How could they focus on the nine analyses (3.4%) that showed negative effects – a number that could just as easily have been due to random consequences or their margin of error?

The sheer number of “no effect” results (92%) is consistent with what a dozen other field studies have found: that foraging on neonicotinoid-treated crops has no effect on honeybees. Why was this ignored?

Also relevant is the fact that CEH honeybee colonies near neonic-treated fields recovered from any adverse effects of their exposure to neonics before going into their winter clusters. As “super organisms,” honeybee colonies are able to metabolize many pesticides and detoxify themselves. This raises doubts about whether any different overwintering results between test colonies and controls can properly be ascribed to neonics. Woodcock, et al. should have discussed this, but failed to do so.

Finally, as The Mad Virologist pointed out, if neonics have negative impacts on bees, the effects should have been consistent across multiple locations and seed treatments. They were not. In fact, the number of bee larval cells during crop flowering periods for one neonic increased in response to seed treatments in Germany, but declined in Hungary and had no change in England. For another neonic, the response was neutral (no change) in all three countries. Something other than neonics clearly seems to be involved.

The honest, accurate conclusion would have been that exposure to neonics probably had little or no effect on the honeybees or wild bees that CEH studied. The Washington Post got that right; Science did not.

US law defines “falsification” as (among other things) “changing or omitting data or results, such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.” Woodcock and CEH clearly did that. Then the AAAS and Science failed to do basic fact-checking before publishing the article; the media parroted the press releases; and anti-pesticide factions rushed to say “the science is settled” against neonics.

The AAAS and Science need to retract the Woodcock article, apologize for misleading the nation, and publish an article that fully, fairly and accurately represents what the CEH research and other field studies actually documented. They should ban Woodcock and his coauthors from publishing future articles in Science and issue press releases explaining all these actions. The NJEM should take similar actions.

Meanwhile, Duke should be prosecuted, fined and compelled to return the fraudulently obtained funds.

Failure to do so would mean falsification and fraud have replaced integrity at the highest levels of once-respected American institutions of scientific investigation, learning and advancement.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

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173 thoughts on “The Crisis of Integrity-deficient Science

  1. Related: “Falsifying or ignoring data news that don’t doesn’t support conclusions or agendas is worse than junk science fake news.”

      • Fake science is the one thing that it isn’t. It would appear to be good science badly analysed. All of data
        was properly collected, collated and released so that everyone could check their conclusions. I haven’t
        done so, so I am not going pass judgement on the quality of the analysis. But it is good science since
        people can reproduce their analysis. Fake science would involve fake data (like the Duke case apparently).

      • When Lies pay Top Dollar, and “Integrity” gets one kicked out of a job for upsetting one’s higher ups, then it’s not hard to understand why soon the product will be nothing but very carefully constructed lies, and that the members of such a professions will quite soon consist only of those who are extremely comfortable crafting such lies.

        You get more of whatever type of behavior you incentivise, and right now institutions like Duke can say “hey we stole $113 million! Our bad, ha ha ha, but we ain’t givin it back!!” As long as that works, we will get a lot more of the same.

      • Germinio,

        I consider it fake science due to the parallels with fake news. In both cases, the fakers twist facts to conform to their preconceptions as they obstinately refuse to acknowledge the truth. In both cases, the primary defense used by the fakers is to demonize anyone who disputes their twisted facts, most often supported by no more than self righteous indignation as they promote fear if their misguided point of view is not addressed.

    • I have a simple question to ask: What is the impact on humans who eat such farms food; and on animal who eat such farm fodder?

      I remember a case on terminator technology — it was banned even by UN but the Director General of ICAR from India suggested terminator technology as a good to adapt — we generally considered it as scratching head with fire. After retirement he got plum post in GM organization.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Not a problem.

        The honey tastes great.
        The wax is terrific.
        The canola oil is great.
        The remaining fodder make for healthy animals.

        No impacts anywhere along the chain.

      • The neonics were designed to hurt insects but not people. Plus, there is no residue when tested in the finished product. Interesting fact is in Canada17million acres of Canola are treated with the neonics and have been for more than ten years with no problem to the bees that pollinate them nor those who use Canola. Plus, the Canola is GMO.

  2. Leftist scientists are the worst in terms of letting their politics influence the outcomes of their study. The government, universities and colleges are full of them.

    • Consequentialism (e.g., “the ends justify the means”) seems to be a commonly accepted ethical theory among the progressive left.

      • A major enabler of the progressive left mantra, “the ends justify the means,” is United Nations Principle 15. At the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, the United Nations produced the Rio Declaration. That document includes Principle 15: “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.” This has become known as the Precautionary Principle.

        The EPA interprets the Principle to mean that, if one can hypothesize a small possibility of an environmental threat, measures to respond to the perceived threat are justified. Compelling scientific evidence of a threat of serious damage becomes a moot point. The adoption of this premise was the beginning of “agenda-driven science.” It was a small step for the EPA and their contractors to resort to falsified reports to advance political agendas and to achieve personal financial goals.

        I submit that the aggressive implementation of the Principle by the EPA has been a major contributor to “The Crisis of Integrity-Deficient Science” in the U.S. Rejecting the Precautionary Principle as a guide for environmental policy and returning to a rational environmental policy would go a long way toward restoring scientific integrity.

      • “The end justifies the means” is one of three warning signs of Nazism. (The other two: “othering” and expanding State power.)

      • Tom, I’ll accept their belief in the ‘Precautionary Principle’ as soon as they start following a suggestion someone made on this site a few months ago (wish I had bookmarked it). That being that they should start carrying their own parachutes on airplane flights as a precaution against what we use to call plane-ground-interference.

    • It is very strange that people who claim to be on the left would be opposed to using products that increase yields and thereby reduce hunger and poverty. One wonders what their motives would be for such behaviour. I hope they are exiled from science.

      • Not really. You have to remember that the left doesn’t make having more humans around. Throughout history the left wants to control the population and one of the ways is by reduction. Eugenics was all about the process and so too is its trendy named successor commonly called global warming.

    • R. Shearer. You are correct and it follows what has happened in our universities, a radical shift to the left by professors, students, and administrators. To these radical leftists free speech, right and wrong, mean little or nothing. The outcome is what matters and how they get it does not matter.
      So, if they have to cheat to support their personal beliefs, then can censor or adjust data, falsify results, make up data and results as long as it supports their beliefs.
      The sad thing is that our journals, proceedings, and peer review actions and standards do not ensure accuracy or honesty. I believe it is time for a replacement system. Perhaps there should be two reviews by each reviewer received and free to the public that is published by the journals, proceedings, etc. when the paper is accepted or rejected; along with all the data used in the analyses.
      1) Paper is stripped of all names and affiliations and references and then the peer review process is made just on the unknown authors’ words, data, analyses, and results. All of these are archived for public view. (This is necessary because names and/or a literature citation list can usually tell all about the author, institution, and colleagues)
      2. Same paper sent back to same reviewers with no author names but literature search included. These results are treated same as above in #1.
      Final published paper includes both review drafts (1 and 2 above) and the reviewers names and institutions.
      3. A signed and notarized statement by the authors that no data, results, or analyses were censored, eliminated, or tampered with in any way.
      4. Reviewers cannot be anyone who ever coauthored with any of the authors.

      I am sure others could come up with much better review systems, but, perhaps some of the above elements would be included.

      • One of the problems we face today is that in many fields of study everyone knows everyone else or at least their writing style, specific subject of study, etc. So a “blind” reviewer receiving a paper has a pretty good idea who did the work. The author might be a old professor, fellow graduate student, or in direct competition for funding with the reviewer. In my field we discuss this problem regularly. It was even discussed at one time to send papers to at least one scientist outside the field of study for review. The other problem we faced was the publishers not taking the reviewer comments into account. I know of at least two cases where the reviewer’s comments were never sent to the author. One paper stands out where the paper was published with all the math errors and other problems, in spite of the paper going out twice for review. That last paper was published by a federal agency journal and a year later the author was working for the same agency.

  3. This reminds me of a conversation I had with a government scientist many years ago (he was a racing acquaintance of mine). He was involved in determining the relative harm in cannabis use.

    His instructions were to equate high concentration over short periods of time with low concentration over long time periods (chronic use). Those concentrations (of THC) were up to 1000 times what one would get in a single dose, and administered several times a day (this was done in animals). The results were surprisingly mild, showing little long term damage. Poor government, what to do?

    I asked him how the determination was made to establish such a practice? He indicated it was a preference by his superiors for a pre-determined outcome. I suggested as a thought experiment: put alcohol in place of the THC- a 1000X dose over a short period of time? What would be the likely outcome?

    He was amused.

    • That’s a very common reasoning, and in my opinion it’s totally false.

      I always use immersion into water as a counter-example. A person that is kept under water for 15 minutes will die from drowning (if people don’t agree with that, just use a higher number). That’s 900 seconds. Applying the same reasoning, keeping 900 people one second each under water should also kill one person on average. Which is clearly an absurd conclusion.

      • You have just re-created the EPAs LNT (Linear No Threshold) model for substance toxicity.
        The use of the LNT model has enabled the EPAs current Berserker rampage through American society, slamming the heavy hand of government interference into every aspect of American life.

      • Similarly absurd conclusions demand that we treat practically every adult over 40 for “high cholesterol,” “high blood pressure,” and “obesity” just because if you crank The Numbers low enough by “consensus,” you can sell dangerous, powerful, and expensive drugs to just about everyone in the name of “prevention.”
        (Evidence shows a minimal statin benefit for MEN ONLY in a VERY narrow age range who have already had ONE non-fatal heart attack. But what the hell, extrapolate that minisucle, rounding-error-sized “benefit” to sell statins to every man, woman and child in America whether it benefits them or not. The hell with what really causes lipid problems–a diet skewed toward refined carbohydrates and sugar, which the same “authorites” have been shoving down our throats for 60 years in the name of “low-fat!”

      • Goldrider: My husband’s PA is wonderful for things like this. She believes older people SHOULD have higher blood pressure, within reason, so they don’t get dizzy upon standing or pass out. She also believes blood sugars should be high enough to keep one from passing out and that some elevation with age is fine. Same with some weight gain. Aging changes things—you’re not the same as you were at 30 so why treat you as if you are. As far as food, she came from the Midwest and watched farmers eat eggs, bacon, ham, etc and live to 90. This is a PA grounded in reality, not theory. I hope she sticks around a long time.

  4. The neonic bee study reminds me of the Swedish study on the health effects of non-ionizing radiation from power lines. They statistically treated each of several hundred groups studied as separate studies, and found several with “significant” health effects. The initial reporting did not seem to realize the absurdity of that result.
    Of course, when politicians appoint people with an undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology and a Masters in Environmental Health Engineering to head regulatory departments, that sort of thing is normal.

    • The theory has been proposed, the tests have been made and the results have been declared …. therefore the subject is ‘settled’.
      30+ years of experience shows us that any form of counterargument using the facts will be fruitless.

      So far….

  5. Better title IMO:

    The Crisis of Integrity-deficient S̶c̶i̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ Scientists

  6. “The ‘Washington Post’ got that right; ‘Science’ did not.”

    good for the washington post…

    • Can you imagine if they studied cherry trees for the effect of CO2 on nutrition? There would be no question that the study cherry picked the results.

    • It’s possible….faster growing, less concentrated…..plausible? doubtful…and if CO2 levels were “normal” this is what we would get anyway

      • I have wondered if that is what was meant by less nutritious, less vitamins/minerals per ounce of food as the fruit grew to a greater size than average due to increased CO2. Even so, so what? The difference is most likely tiny, and results in a person eating a little more plant bulk, bit still receiving all of the nutrition of say an average sized apple. The extra bulk still has food value.

      • Looked into one of these studies once. What they avoided telling you was that the increase in CO2 (around 1,000 ppm)
        caused something like a 40% increase in growth at the cost of a 10% decrease in nutritional value by mass.

        So 10 ounces of CO2 enhanced whatever has the nutritional value of 9 ounces of regular, but you grew 14 instead of 10,

    • It s possible if the effect is faster growth then we should already be able to find in the literature the cases where in Spain particular varieties of crop from the north take up fewer minerals and Trace elements when growing Faster sown in the south. Spanish universities Etc may not have published early 70’s research on this question as it was mainly interest in flavor in competition with Israel. If this is a genuine problem with many varieties it is very easily resolved by selecting seeds traditionally or by genetic modification.

  7. Fines don’t cut it….it’s someone else’s money

    We need stronger laws…and prison time….for things this blatant

    • Well, retracting the paper would be a good start. And getting the money back, because money talks.

      Prison? Well, that’s the ultimate retraction. It would be a good signal, but only after retracting the paper and getting the money back.

  8. Dr Woodcock of CEH (who did the bee study) claimed on BBC Radio 4 this week that CEH was “independent”, no challenge of course to that statement from the BBC (aka the broadcast wing of the “Green” party). Huh? … a body that gets most of its funding from govt is independent! I think not. He also stated that the paper reported on features dictated by some EU body, but all such bodies (especially EU ones) are highly political. Can you imagine the uproar if scientists were required to follow political guidelines when those guidelines did not enable the scientivist agenda.

  9. There are tons of these kinds of fraud cases… Motivation seems to be cheating to get the gov’t grant money, and to a lessor extent, recognition, as perverse as that is.
    From the below CBS link, a very high profile HIV fraud case in 2014: “Investigators say former Iowa State University laboratory manager Dong-Pyou Han has confessed to spiking samples of rabbit blood with human antibodies to make an experimental HIV vaccine appear to have great promise. After years of work and millions $$ in National Institutes of Health grants, another laboratory uncovered irregularities that suggested the results — once hailed as groundbreaking — were bogus.”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/aids-researcher-charged-with-fraud-for-falsifying-data/

  10. Among the provable academic misconducts in climate ‘science’ exposed in 2014 ebook Blowing Smoke are the following:
    Marcott in Science 2013: essay A High Stick Foul
    OLeary in Nature Geoscience 2013: essay By Land or by Sea
    Fabricius in Nature Climate Change 2011: essay Shell Games
    PMEL 2014 (US gov website): essay Shell Games
    Brusca in Ecology and Evolution 2013: essay Burning Nonscience
    Beeber in Nature Climate Change 2013: essay Greenhouse Effects

    That list does not include a longer list of grossly misleading PR about alarmist papers such as exposed in essays Blowing Smoke and Tipping Points or guest posts such as on Totten Glacier over at Climate Etc.

    • Just for fun google “neonicotinoids bees”….on the same date…now….there’s more hits…quoting the same study….saying scientists prove neonics kill bees

    • Rudd, I’d read your book (sincerely) but feel I’d just be re-enforcing my own analysis. It’s palative care for the eternal skeptic; I’m sure it would both anger me and make me feel a bit less like a complete tribal outcast.

      But I will continue to recommend it.

  11. The BBC Countryfile program on Sunday the 2nd of July (last week) predictably reported the adverse results from the fudged neonicotinoid studies. I doubt that they will ever acknowledge the gross errors, lack of transparency and misrepresentations by the authors involved. The BBC continues the witch hunt against neonicotinoid pesticides – and seem to enjoy the role.

  12. My research group has also done extensive research on neonic pesticides, and they found very significant negative effects on bees. Que the major chemical companied with their attack internet dogs. Profits are more important than truth. The exact same cam be seen happening here. The average WUWT reader will of course never actually go into the data, making this into a he said / she said thing. Very sad. The only perversion of science here is by the author of this blog post.

    Cheers from an actual environmental scientist
    Ben

    • Did you measure the pollen directly for the neonic pesticide or it’s residue directly?
      If so how?
      I am an analytical chemist from way back, really get into these types of analysis.

    • The average WUWT reader will of course never actually go into the data

      I became skeptical of the claims by alarmist climate scientists precisely because I “went into the data”. I note your claim doesn’t contain any reference to data at all, making it impossible to verify YOUR claim.

      • Do a search for “research by Ben an actual environmental scientist.” (just kidding)

    • Ben, three partial responses to your commet, motivated in part by my concern for the wild honeybee colonies on my Wisconsin dairy farm.
      1. There is no doubt that honeybees and insecticides do not mix well, as honeybees are insects. So spraying neonics sometimes does not end well. Lots of literature and examples.
      2. I searched hard for credible literature showing meaningful harm when only used as seed coatings, and found nothing. Found lots of junky negative NGO stuff against that use of neonics, but nothing credible. Doesn’t mean there isn’t something, only that I did not find it. If you have published something credible, please provide a reference as I would like to read about it.
      3. Neither (1) nor (2) addresses the specific deserved criticisms of this particular poor paper.

    • Assertion without substantiation. The average (or any) WUWT reader has no opportunity to examine the data and analyses from which your as yet baseless assertions are made. Very sad, indeed. Research grants as academic profits are more important than truth, it seems. Que the major academia cadres with their ‘consensus’ attack internet dogs.

      Please provide links to your ‘extensive’ research and analyses, complete with all data gathered, not just the ‘cherry picked’ subsets. Also the funding source for the studies. Anything less would be perversion of science….

      • Interesting. When the GWPF publishes a paper, there are zero demands by WUWT readers that GWPF reveal their funding sources. Sounds like full blown hypocrisy to me.

    • People that don’t go into the data would actually believe there is a 97 to 99% consensus that humans are the primary cause for global warming. The overwhelming majority of what is said in the media supports CAGW alarmism, making it likely the average WUWT reader is here because they went into the data behind the claims and found it lacking. The author of the blog post provided data with links and you provided an bald assertion. This isn’t a case of he said / she said; it’s he made a strong case backed by research and multiple lines of evidence / you responded with an unsupported claim and accusations that are really nothing but projection.

    • Benben if you want it more than he said / he said, I would suggest you post links or a relevant bibliography. Otherwise, the daunting task of wading thru the material assures that it will be s you said. We could even get a cross discussion about some of the relevant studies.

    • Ben, I for one would appreciate citations on this subject, my family is very involved on the subject and we’re always very happy to “dig in” and look at the data.

      In fact my specialty is design of experiments, my wife is a quality assurance EE and my son a PhD. Bioengineer. We’d all like a look at your work.

    • yeah, so your requests for citations are very understandable, but the problem here is that there were some incidents in the past where some of the more unpleasant commenters on WUWT figured out who I was and sent me a whole bunch of really unpleasant stuff on my work e-mail. I’d rather not go through that again.

      That being said, google scholar is your friend. There aren’t that many large-scale studies on the topic.

      And guys, let’s be serious here. Is it such a stretch to believe that Monsanto and Bayer, when confronted with a threat to a multi-billion dollar business will pull out all stops to discredit the science? See f.e. the tobacco industry. Straight out of the same play book.

      Cheers,
      Ben

      • And yet, those same WUWT commenters have not chimed in here to reveal your identity.

        It looks as if you aren’t going through the unpleasant stuff again even though you continue posting here.

        But then again, why would you want to reveal your data when WUWT readers would just try to find something wrong with it?

      • Then why bring this up if you have no intention whatsoever to disclose the studies and associated information? Makes you look very foolish or desperate. Anyone can throw out claims about writing articles and doing studies. Failure to back up the claim, for whatever reason, is very unscientific and somewhat condescending (because we should just “believe” because you made a claim).

      • Ben –

        I can understand your unwillingness to put a name with your political position, I don’t comment under my own name either and that has led to irritating “credential wars” in the past.

        I’ll make a suggestion; when you want to cite your own work, just cite it without taking credit. No one knows that it’s you that way.

      • “There aren’t that many large-scale studies on the topic.” Yes, and as shown above, their data shows that the threat is hypothetical, not demonstrated.

        “Is it such a stretch to believe that Monsanto and Bayer, when confronted with a threat to a multi-billion dollar business will pull out all stops to discredit the science?” – Lets be honest. Is it such a stretch to believe that that politicians, activists, and lawyers, when confronted with a threat to a business that is literally 100 times larger than Monsato and Bayer, won’t pull out all the stops to protect their racket?

      • Well, Sheri it’s not like WUWTis publishing the 1000 page supplemental data + analysis either. So we just need to believe them too. The only difference being is that you want to believe what they say.

    • “Cheers from an actual environmental scientist”

      Isn’t “environmental scientist” an oxymoron – especially – judging by your previous postings – in your case?

    • Ben,

      You are clearly a liar. By showing up here with your lame story, you provide another example of the fact that dishonesty is a well used tool of a left wing fool.

      Gudolpops

      • As a European, I try to keep my distance from the American left/right culture wars. I’m just talking about experiments with exposures to different classes of pesticides.

    • hahahahaha!

      bbyben claims expertise…

      What is the published research then?

      Did you review the Woodcock daft research? It would be like you, wrong in every sense.

    • Just to be clear, that wasnt my work, but work done by my colleagues. Even anonymous I’d still want the references to be somewhat correct ;)

  13. IPCC AR4 Table 2.14

    IPCC AR5 Table 8.7

    Follow the two links above to see the Global Warming Potential of Methane. The statistic is a derivative and meaningless. Knowing that methane is 72 or 84 or 86 times more powerful than CO2 over twenty years doesn’t say anything about how much methane will increase global temperatures by 2100 or any other date. It’s a dishonest (because it is useless) statistic that constantly gets a pass by everyone. The IPCC needs to be called out on it.

    • Methane is a less powerful GHG than CO2. It lasts for less time in the atmosphere too. I see the charts in the 1st link have 8 GHG charts but exclude water – the most important GHG.

      I noticed many charts on the web also exclude water from GHGs. I just entered GHG and GHGE into Google, clicked images, but can’t find any mention of water. If I didn’t know better I’d think it was a conspiracy.

      • mark4asp … at 3:14 pm
        … If I didn’t know better I’d think it was a conspiracy.

        Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

        You didn’t ask, but at current rates and concentrations, the math says methane will run global temperatures up by about 0.04K by 2100.

      • Congratulations have to go to Paul Driessen and his ilk for producing mission results like this. Well done, awesome work.

        Follow Pauls’s money Mark. It’s not that hard.

  14. What do you do when your global doom-saying is not cutting through like it used to through lack of evidence and crying wolf too often? Go to the opposite end of the spectrum with the microscopic doom-saying that folks can’t see naturally-
    http://emergingtech.foe.org.au/
    Won’t you please think of the babies and fluffy kittens folks and that from the mentality that likes to make pictures of exploding schoolkiddies and polar bears impacting cars among their other scenes of death and destruction. Welcome to the new scientific terrorism.

  15. Actually I’m not sure these studies will have a vary wide spread effect on the reputation of science or scientists. From what I can tell the pseudosciences, such as ‘dietary science’, ‘education science’, ‘climate science’, etc. have already done a lot to destroy the public’s opinion of most science. Thankfully, this does not appear to have impacted the number of students choosing STEM degrees, particularly in the hard sciences.

    • The trouble comes when such ‘research’ is rewarded with lots of press coverage etc which sends out a clear message as to want you need to do to ‘get on’ in the area. It is not merely the poor practice which is the problem but the way it is treated by others.
      That such practices are totally unacceptable for any undergraduate handing in an essay , seems to pass these professional ‘scientists’ right by .
      You can bet that despite its problems of ‘omission’ this article will go on their list of published work has they have no shame in what they did , given its achieve their ‘objective ‘

      • And worse knr, once the junk is published and cited many times it is like a flood. Hard to get attention that it was proven wrong.

  16. I think the rot is culturally endemic – we’re damaged goods as a civilization. I’ve seen rampant rot in medicine and industry – bent by marketing, sales, management and legal ‘s spins.

  17. Science is in bad shape. The findings of most science research papers are wrong. link

    It’s not just real science that’s in a bad way, it’s most of academia. Papers that don’t cleave to the party line don’t get published in the social sciences either. link

    There is a huge oversupply of PhDs, each desperate to publish in high impact journals or face career extinction. link What the heck do you think is going to happen as surely as night follows day. Dr. Michael Mann’s scientific covenant is a bad joke. link

  18. One major bit of cherry picked science we need. It’s what maybe not set this climate thing off directly, but what is certainly feeding & perpetuating it.

    Ancel Keys.
    Certainly an intrepid scientist, did good work initially but went to spoil it and everything by cherry picking his data. He used his personal preferences about saturated fat, possibly taught him by his parents, to state that eating saturated fat was bad. He ignored more countries with good health records of sat fat eaters in favour of those with bad. Simply because he didn’t like the stuff, maybe because his parents did/did not or through some bad childhood experience.

    And so began the meme that because human bodies need ‘energy’ and sat fat is bad, people should eat carbohydrate instead, to obtain their ‘energy’
    All carbohydrate is sugar.

    Bodies recognise the ‘goodness’ within it and are loath to throw it out so, a normally rarely used system (insulin) converts it to, of all things, saturated fat. But the insulin system was not eveolved to cope with the amount of sugar we now throw at it.
    It breaks down, stops working and we call it Diabetes.
    Sugar destroys bodies

    Eating sugar makes you feel good (promotes Dopamine release and is hence addictive) but is extremely dangerous for animal cells. It dehydrates them.
    It also is a depressant. It makes you sleepy. It switches off your brain and hence feel disinclined to do anything, physical or mentally – apart from eat more sugar when the drowsiness subsides.
    Sugar destroys minds.

    You want a correlation curve?
    Plot ‘scares’ against the rise in carb consumption parallel to the decline of saturated fat consumption.
    ‘Scares’ being global cooling, nuclear winters, silent springs, ozone, mad cows, ebola etc.
    See how they get bigger and closer together as the timeline moves forward and away from when Keys published his guff?

    Switched off brains are propelling this thing along.

    Ah but you say, I’m fine. I’m awake all the time. I’m normal. I know what I’m thinking and always ‘get it right’

    One question. It may not apply but I’m 97% sure it does.
    I ask, What Is That Coffee Cup Doing In Your Possession?

    Oh. So it wakes you up, makes you bright and alert.
    Fine. What was making you sleepy then?

    Let’s suggest you don’t actually like the taste of caffeine and that only Political Correctness and/or The Consensus tell you you do.
    If your mind is half switched off (and of course that’s why you’re reaching for caffeine) , you will buy that bollox.
    Hook line and sinker.

    You like the effect and a muddled mind ignores the bitter taste of a potent toxin in favour of that.
    Just like smoking, alcohol, dope, cocaine, MDMA…. need I go on?

    See how deep this goes. See how big a mire we are in?

    And our medical types now suggest we should hit ourselves with this glucose based chemical cosh every 2 hours.
    Laugh or cry?
    Its not actually at all funny is it?

    • I understand exactly what you are stating regarding sweetened coffee usage. I have cut my coffee usage down which also includes going a day or two without any coffee at times. The result is that I feel much clearer in my thoughts, and more awake when I limit my coffee/sugar intake. I also enjoy the coffee more as a result. Coffee is the only product which I sweeten, and I seldom eat sweets. Sweets hit me exactly as you describe above. There is the initial energy rush which is followed afterwards by a drain of energy.

    • One of the revelations of an ‘intersting’ youth was to realise that from the age of puberty to the menopause we are all on serious strong mood and mind altering drugs. Sex hormones .

      Remember, reality is for people who can’t handle drugs.

      And socialism is for people who cant handle reality.

  19. Fraud needs to be prosecuted. Fraud in scientific research is rarely prosecuted. Wearing a white lab coat is about equal to having a “Get out of jail” card. The lack of prosecution is encouraging more fraud.

  20. I think the peer review process needs to change. Some sort of blog/internet review process should be established.

    • It is emerging in parallel rather than as a substitution. This post is an example. Nic Lewis taking apart the new ECS reconciliation paper at Climate Audit and at Climate Etc. Is another current example.

    • A publicly available post together with publicly available comments and replies seems to me to be a better concept than peer review:
      «I do many of my reviews on travel. I have a feel for whether something is wrong – call it intuition. If analyses don’t seem right, look right or feel right, I say so. Some of my reviews for CC [Climatic Change] could be called into question!» UEA’s renowned Director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), Phil Jones 2486.txt

  21. I had read in organic gardening-type sites about that study. I am grateful for the corrections published here. As to why they reported fraudulently, that’s simple. “Publish or perish.” The falsified report was publishable; the truth too boring.

    A politically and socially important fraud was one that purported to show a significant part of IQ was genetic. But the data was totally made up.

    Flat-out fraud is not the only problem in modern, peer-reviewed “science.” I know a biology professor studying the metabolic pathways of frog egg fertilization. He has trouble getting published, and trouble getting funds because his results do not match those of a better-known scientist in his field.

    It is not just climate science. It is all science, and those of us who treasure the wonders of discovery need to face this issue and find better ways to make sure all data is reported, even if it is boring, and ensure integrity in science.

    • ladylifegrows
      Any citations or data for this statement?
      “A politically and socially important fraud was one that purported to show a significant part of IQ was genetic. But the data was totally made up.”

  22. When I awoke this morning and checked the Pacific water vapor map I saw a circulation pattern forming, It now has an eye. It is off of mexico heading north. Am I the only one that has seen it?

    Just asking…

    • From Accuweather

      “Eugene will begin to run into some less favorable conditions with the start of the new week. Much cooler sea surface temperatures in conjunction with drier air will lead to a rapid period of weakening on Monday. By the middle of the week, Eugene will mostly like lose it tropical characteristics due to lack of deep convection and the ingestion of dry, stable air.”

      We also have a geo-magnetic storm in progress. This happens alot. In my honest opinion, these solar storms are causing these “emerging phenomenons” to occur. At least the last several have done it…

  23. What is described above seems to be part of the reproducibility crisis which is currently reducing the credibility of science. Some of the factors of concern are:. 1. Lack of training in scientists with regard to how pervasive self-deception is in experimentation. 2. Poor quality people (too many people) doing research, science needs to start from a philosophical underpinning, not from the desire for a cushy job. 3. Confusion of technology and science. Tinkerers developing new drugs or flashier ipods, are not scientists, they are technicians. Much of what the news media report as science is just technology. 4. Money drives technological development and so there is high pressure to cheat. Snake oil patent medicines, sporting equipment, cosmetics, climate science, nutritionism and several other sectors are largely fraudulent activities and yet these activities are treated as if they actually have scientific underpinnings. 5. While the commitment to scientific integrity varies within western countries, some countries which now publish vast amounts of “science” have much older and stronger traditions such as obeisance to superiors. 6.Statistical techniques are used to compensate for poor biometrics. The results of well designed experiments should be obvious or to paraphrase Rutherford, if you need complex statistical analysis to tell what happened then your experiment was poorly designed. 7.Modelling is cheaper than research and can be used to mollify tight fisted and weak minded managers. 8. Funding is tied to celebrity. Every finding has to be earth shaking, ground breaking. 9. Too many journals- too many journals willing to publish just about anything. 10. News media use questionable science as click bait, they do not critically assess what they disseminate. 11………this could go on for a while yet

  24. While not science, a large portion of my days were spent looking for data falsification in data coming in from field offices. Everything from “scan in the Jeep before actual delivery was attempted” to having employees scanning packages when the carrier returned to “stop the service clock”. This was not poor training of the supervisory personnel, but active attempts to game the system. These are but two I uncovered. Problem was delivery was a compensatory goal that directly affected their paycheck, or in the case of poor performance, their job.

    We did “adjust” the national data – we applied what I called a coarse rake – we ran the data through a series of filters to screen out nonsensical data only – i.e., a piece delivered before that piece was accepted. (not data we didn’t like or data that did not support our goals). This was as coarse a filter as we could possibly make, remaining neutral, and keep our bosses (and us) out of jail, yet clean the data enough to be of use for diagnostics of the entire system.

    Given the option of “the hammer” or falsifying the data, the data always suffered. No one wants to be beat over the head for poor performance. Shading the truth is lying as sure as omitting part of the story, or a bald-faced lie. One has to expect gaming of the system where humans are involved.

    Simply human nature to look good via their work, truthful or not. Thats where clever comes in. Maybe no one will notice (and if caught, maybe no repercussions)

    It is up to skeptics to constantly challenge the data and methods.

    • How about applying a liitle of your professional scepticism and look at the ethics of the author and his funding sources?

  25. “Scientists” who fake data to obtain taxpayer’s money are guilty of fraud, it is that simple. Proving they have done so is not easy, peer review does not seem to work, the belief in AGW seems to suit the left leaning politicians, “news” organisations and celebrities. A better basic scientific education would be a start but teachers and professors seem to be more and more left wing inclined. All I can suggest is that some high profile researchers that have bled the system are made to repay the monies that they have gained through fraud, are stripped of their qualifications and given a jail term. The only way I can suggest for this to happen is by encouraging whistle-blowing with rewards and multiple sources of grant money for each research project with different sources for individuals. “Capitalism for Science”.

  26. You mixed up the ‘right results ‘ with the ‘correct results’ , the authors got, has they wanted, the ‘right results ‘

  27. I was educated in the atmospheric sciences and in the late 70’s and early 80’s. That education included climate studies. While we certainly didn’t know everything about climate, we knew that it fluctuated. We were taught about the various warm and cold periods. This was generally accepted science, but certainly not settled science. We were taught that there wasn’t any such thing as ‘settled’ science.

    Through the 80’s and early 90’s, there was very little dispute about Holocene Climate science. Then, out of nowhere, a paper appeared that was an outlier. It was based on an amazingly small number of tree rings, yet made the very bold claim that current temperatures were unprecedented in the last 1000 years and that temperatures were relatively stable over the last millennium. The paper seemed obviously flawed with the first reading. Statisticians tore it to pieces. Yet it became front page news, because it was precisely what was needed to give credence to the growing AGW scare.

    The Hockey Stick team is still producing outlier science, using dubious proxies, even more dubious statistics and cherry picked data. It is obvious that they are activists with a predetermined conclusion before they even started. Of course, that is still hard to prove, especially when they are delivering exactly what the paradigm ordered. They will not be convicted by a jury of their peers, and they are still crazy after all these years.

  28. What to do? in my opinion, not much is necessary. Increasingly the junk science gets exposed on the internet (as here) for any who care to find and learn. I provided the compelling written evidence for Marcotts academic misconduct in his 2013 Science paper three weeks after publication to Marsha McNutt, then Science editor in chief. Her secretary acknowledged receipt. Nothing was done. So I published it at Climate Etc. And then in ebook Blowing Smoke. That indelible stain will follow Marcott for the rest of his career. Mann got taken down by Steyn’s book on him, and by Judith Curry at the 29 March 2017 congressional hearing, now indelibly a Youtube snippet fo all to ‘enjoy’.
    People will lose faith in ‘science’, and ‘science’ will suffer until it self corrects. There is already evidence of self correction in dietary advice despite the fluten free craze, GMOs (golden rice), and newly in some climate science (Pruitt’s red team will chew up,the endangerment finding). All that is needed on the political front is whistle blowers (Karl 2015) and congressional hearings (Christy 29 May 2017) as the real battle isn’t the politicized junk science, its the ensuing public policies.

  29. >>there is no significant, evidence-based relationship between
    >>fine particulates and human illness or mortality.

    Do you mean that the UK’s pogrom on diesel cars, for producing fine particulates, is all based upon flawed science? If so, it is about time that VW and Mercedes took these universities to court, and screwed them for every penny they have.

    R

  30. Cui Bono
    Scientist produce #fakescience because there is career progression and money in it and there is almost no downside, especially if the #fakescience supports a political funder. Scientists have also become gullible, they believe ‘peer reviewed’ papers despite it being repeatedly shown that peer == pal and that group-thinking pals can therefore generate a huge body of self referential papers supporting the #fakescience and can suppress the publication of any skeptical papers. This was shown by ‘The Team’ in climate ‘science’.

    These problems can only be fixed by ensuring that where it is shown that research results have been deliberately faked, the response of the scientific community should be so hard that regardless of the possible pecuniary and career advantages no scientist would risk faking research. For example in obvious egregious cases the degrees/qualifications of the participants could be withdrawn, their research establishments could have accreditation removed and all papers citing the research and papers citing them withdrawn.

  31. “Falsification” is an ambiguous term in this context. I strongly suggest it not be used.

    • In some cases it is much, much to generous! A spade should be called a spade. Michael Man is a nasty, self-serving, duplicitous , conniving, falsifying, conspiratorial………. spade!

  32. It seems to me most folks, at least most who publish findings and opinions on this site, understand that the majority of scientific papers contain errors in data collection, analysis and sometimes both. I don’t think that’s an issue that can be addressed by editing or review; it’s inherent in the field, which has as its purpose the discovery of new knowledge, often using untried experimental methods. That’s really the reason behind publishing, to allow a broad community of fellow investigators to test the validity of the results by reproducing them.

    But a few alarms went off for me after reading this research had been funded by two companies actively involved in commercially producing the chemicals studied, and that is was one or both of those companies who acted as “whistle blowers” in this case. There’s something very fishy about that. Why would the scientists (Woodcock, et. al.) publish a paper they knew was based on “cherry picked” results, when at the same time they released all of the data to their sponsors, who have a very understandable motivation (and no doubt “in house” expertise) to publicly castigate them for doing it? It smells like either rank stupidity on the part of the investigators, or a set up.

    If it were a setup, what’s the purpose? What would be accomplished? Who benefits from it?

    Let’s state outright the motive implied in this article, that Woodcock & etc. are activist eco-loons willing to throw away their careers for “the cause”. Maybe that’s blunt, and I expect the author has deniability, but that’s the way I’ve read it and it seems others who’ve commented here have arrived at a similar conclusion. WUWT has a rich and diverse collection of skeptics in its readership. It’s a perfect place to publish this sort of story.

    If the investigators did in fact commit outright fraud, which generally requires a claim of financial damage, who could make that claim? Certainly not other scientists and not even the general public. It would seem the only “people” with standing to bring such a claim would be the sponsors of the research themselves, the very people “blowing the whistle”.

    The effect this has on public opinion should be obvious; all research to date on this molecule should be considered junk. If this story is broadly promoted, a public that’s become skeptical of environmental justics warriors will extend that skepticism to neonic pesticide studies. Bayer wins. Their product has been “slandered by science”. Woodcock and crew are quietly hired into lucrative long term possitions with one of the many, many nameless subsidiaries of the sponsor corporations, never to be seen on the pages of Science again.

    Anyway, it’s just a thought.

  33. I have watched with varying degrees of amusement and horror at the campaign to demonize glyphosphate commonly known as RoundUp.

    The circumlocutions the negative findings “studies” twist into conclusions is hard to tolerate.

    I was once asked if I would drink RoundUp. I said no. An ah hah moment until I explained the surfactant (dish soap) was yuckky and gave you GI distress. I said I would have no problem with full glasses of just the active chemical in water at spray dilutions. I then asked if they were willing to drink dishwater in equal quantities.

    • Glyphosate is an example of scepticism gone bad. Studies have found no link to cancer, but the MSM gives great credence to those sceptical of those studies. Being sceptical of a positive link is fine, but how can you be sceptical of no-link, unless you have deep knowledge of the chemistry of carcinogens, totally lacking in those who claim to be sceptical.

      • climarecon. And I am already seeing lawyers’ TV commercials begging for clients that have been hurt by glyphosate. If they win a case in court the matter is settled and the product will be pulled from the market. It is hard to reverse a court ruling and it takes a lot of money and time and effort.

  34. Instead of spending all this money on Climate Change couldn’t we just buy a few copies of “ the emperor has no Clothes” and make it compulsory reading in schools?

  35. Falsification of data is fraud and is a felony. Cherry picking data, omitting data, skewing data are fraudulent and if caught in engaging in such activity in private industry an individual would be terminated for cause at the very least. The same result should obtain in Academia or Government employment IMO. Obtaining grants based on fraudulent data is theft. Fraud and theft need to be punished and the individuals or organizations involved barred from any further participation in the grant process at any level.

    • You have an optimistic view of private industry. I was at a major bank for 24 years. It went under, partially due to the CEO’s emphasis on results while keeping insulated from how they were attained (preserving deniability). I wasn’t at Wells Fargo, but it appears to have had the same problem recently.

  36. Why is this happening? Reason is not inate. We have to be formed intellectually. The intellectual formation in our universities has radically rejected classical western philosophy, from which science emerged, in favour of modern political philosophy and relativism. Once truth is relative, then nothing – I emphasize nothing – can be proven or disproven. Truth is reduced to political power. Agenda based science becomes the norm, because science is no longer about truth, it’s about the agenda.

    Welcome to Nietzsche’s world. God help us.

    • If we are being philosophical then truth is indeed relative, that is to say, contextual.

      What day of the week is it? The true answer is contextual. It might be Wednesday, it might not.

      What is a correct course of action to take? It depends on when you ask the question.

      This is the core problem with nationalism and communism, both of which are aspects of materialism. The answer required to all questions becomes either ‘the nation’ or ‘the party’. There is no significant difference between them. They both function as false gods.

      If truth is communicating reality as it actually is, speaking the truth, it is still dependent on accepting reality as it is comprehended at the time, because additional underlying realities may remain unknown for several more generations.

      We have to deal with realities as we perceive them to be. Misrepresenting reality, faking data, making stuff up, arbitrarily assigning values to variables: that is unlikely to be ‘the truth’ and certainly not provably so.

      The essence of CAGW is that some guys made a guess and sought to validate it because it seemed like it was a good idea at the time. Well, it wasn’t. The data shows nothing unnatural, catastrophic or tipping is going to happen. So their guesses and speculations were not, in the end, truthful, not then, not now. It is hard to think of a context in which their guess would be true.

      Literally, nothing to see, move along.

      • If nationality is a false god, please tell me that Bedouin culture is appropriate for London.

        Or that “If Allah wills it” is appropriate for science.

  37. The article is about

    honeybee colonies near neonic-treated fields

    but does not define what near means. Since honeybees forage in a 3-mile radius, near makes no sense. The question is – What percentage of the fields in a 3-mile radius were treated?
    In the case of the controls, the hives must be more than 3 miles away from treated fields.
    To have a valid study, all the hives (test and control) must be exposed to the same number of fields (actually, the same area) that that are sprayed with problem pesticides.
    (PS – the link above to the “Science” article is broken.)
    According to the article, each hive was “next to” a 63.1 hectare field – about 0.24 square miles. A circle with a radius of 3 miles is about 28.3 square miles. Conclusion – no data was collected.
    According to one of the references, this was “two year, $3.6 million study”!

  38. The fundamental problem lies in a) individuals’ ethics being watered down – we have gone well beyond the horror of Fletcher’s (?) Situational Ethics and b) many truly believe – and/or act accordingly – that the end justifies the means. As a people we are learning to compromise on behavior that our grandparents would have called downright not moral. So… are we prepared as individuals to stand tall and be beat down with criticism? Incidentally, the scientific method i) gather more and more data, never discarding what you do not like; ii) prepare or postulate a tentative conclusion/inference, iii) test it and validated the conclusion using data other than the one used to generate the conclusion, has been completely put to a side. Now it is i) make a claim ii) chose the data to validate it, iii) and then create a computer “model” adjusted to be proposed as a just validation iii) and yes, publish it with friendly peer reviewers. I retired in 2000 having served many graduate students. If any one of them had either a) ignored “outliers” type data, b) not validated a model by – relationship to first principles, and or application to a complete new set of data, they would have never received my approval.

    • It’s like my niece told me “It’s more important to be liked than be right”. This was how she lived her life—morally was fluid and depended on the situation.

  39. Cut the funding of all sciences until it becomes so scarce, that only the best research will rise to the top.

    I mean, if you ask any researcher today, how hard it is to obtain funding and they will say it is extremely, extremely difficult. But there is obviously too much floating around given the junk science coming out today.

    Climate science is obviously in a different league. If you don’t tow the line, you get nothing. But that means there is just too much floating around and too much controlled by funding award committees that have been fully captured by the global warming believers.

    Yes, we can take the believers off of the committees but the simple fact is there is too much available to start with. Get the believers off of the committees and cut the money to one-quarter of what it is today. Then, make it fully conditional on all data being publicly available and no adjustments can be made (as in the raw data is also publicly available).

    • Excellent point Bill. I do believe federal research grants could be significantly cut and the science would probably improve.

    • The actual effect would be significantly different. The best FUNDING APPLICATION writers would rise to the top, not necessarily the best scientists.

      I once worked with a non-degreed individual who possessed on of the most creative minds I have ever observed. But he could neither write well nor present data and/or proposals in an understandable (i.e., to managers) fashion. I, on the other hand, am not very creative, but can synthesize other folks concepts well into a coherent and practical whole, and am the guy to whom coworkers came when they needed their papers and presentations edited. Over several years, we – as a team – were able to get several major NASA projects funded and implemented, but take one guess who generally was credited with the success. HINT: it wasn’t the guy who had the ideas…

      I sure hope there is a better way to fund research, but I don’t know what that is.

  40. These days, Academia is so badly infested with Leftist scientists who believe that ;the Cause’ is greater than ‘the Truth’ that they are prepared to misrepresenmt and distort science to support and advance their own false beliefs. Their politics derermine the outcomes of their studies. The government bureaucracies, similarly infested with Leftists, supports them with money.

  41. A reviewer from Nature about a (non-proper) paper on exotic species—
    “Unfortunately, while the authors are careful to state that they are discussing biodiversity changes at local scales, and to explain why this is relevant to the scientific community, clearly media reporting on these results are going to skim right over that and report that biological diversity is not declining if this paper were to be published in Nature. I do not think this conclusion would be justified, and I think it is important not to pave the way for that conclusion to be reached by the public.”
    This came from a link from TWTW which I had posted before. http://issues.org/33-4/the-science-police/
    I suspect that the smaller, less obvious (as fxk noted) but more numerous sins are more important than the total more easy to catch fabrications and as the rejected author pointed out at least this reviewer was honest about his failure to understand science. His paper was published in PNAS and another in American Scientist, too both of their credit. Fear of exotic species has an interesting and important background, both scientific and political.

    Wish I had a patent for these “… it is (include your own, like much more, simpler, etc.) than previously thought.”Or it “…may not be (good, right, substantial, etc.), but it makes a good point.” Or “..further investigations into (add your grant proposal title here) are needed. ” The middle one is rare in the literature I read, but I heard it too often, or similar phrases like the Nature reviewer used, a couple of decades ago. Us peasants are just too stupid to understand.

    • Let me add an amendment, as this link just came from a Sigma Xi (American Scientist) Smart Brief. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-07/weather-gets-weird-as-record-rainfall-follows-record-drought

      I just learned from them that in 2011 we had the worst drought in history in Texas and the worst flood on the Mississippi. As one who studied the end of the Texas drought (and also lived here in 2011) and the 1970s Mississippi floods, both are hard to believe, although it would be necessary to look up real data. I do have this handy. (Hazen, H. A. 1899. Extraordinary rainfall in Texas. Monthly Weather Review. 27(6):249. In less than four days at the end of June an estimated 2000+ square miles from Hearne to just above Waco was covered with 30 inches of rain. )
      There are other extremes attested to by a MIT professor and a California State Meteorologist, both who seem to admit that they are throwing out history.

      Extraordinary in 1899, Weird in 2017. Homework in 1899, Delusion crisis in 2017.

      • I left out that the Texas drought was that of the 1950s. Was told it was worse in some of Texas than in the 1930s, also not good. Old enough to well remember the second drought, born in the first.

  42. Confidence above 95% is a statistical social construct. (1 in 20.)
    So, many studies will have some outliers that contradict the consensus.
    This is expected.
    If you have doubts that small particulates are damaging to health and mortality, you can read a meta-study that looks at 60 such studies. Among 60 you may find 3 that are outliers…
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4335916/

    • 95% confidence doesn’t necessarily mean that there were a few outliers and the rest of the studies agreed with the conclusion. A few outliers can skew an average up to the point to where a conclusion looks meaningful.

      If you have worries that small particulates actually affect mortality, you can actually read that study and its supplementary data. Even though most studies showed no overall correlation, combining the figures created an average that lets them claim a positive correlation.

      For example, the study concludes that elementary carbon (EC) had a strong connection with mortality, even though they had 13 studies that showed no connection (or even negative correlation), and only 6 that showed a positive correlation. -Figures 7,8, and 9 of the supplementary data.

      They also state “For metals, there were insufficient estimates for meta-analysis”, but Table 3 shows they had just as many studies for metals as they did for EC. Strangely enough those studies for metals only showed a connection to mortality 32% of the time, about the same as EC, but with fewer strong outliers so the average wasn’t as high.

  43. It’s heartening to hear such things. Yet in India, especially the teachers working in colleges and universities are the worst and they simply borrow or steal from others or fabricated on their own and without any morals and ethics they simply submit. Further their own team as experts & panels and referees without any hurdles they got their research degrees. Their criminal acts are spreading like a web as if like internet and press on.
    As an example, my own colleagues were involved in such plagiarism and the concerned university (Bharathiar University) had helped them in every respect to award them their Ph. D. Degree. If there is any mechanism to stop it, it will be of great boon to science.

    • In 70s eminent agricultural scientists committed suicide in the office (?). Later government appointed Gajendragadkar (?) a SC (retired) judge to enquire on this. This is relating to bass using the subordinate data. But nothing happened.

      When my boss submitted a work for award by agricultural commission, my previous boss who was a member of the committee informed the committee this was initiated by me when he was my boss. The committee rejected the submission for award but chairman over ruled and awarded. At my office, officials asked me fight against that but I refused to do that. Then they threatened me to get me transferred to Gahahti [considered as punishment place]. — In Canberra Australia, I met another member of the committee and enquired on this. He said yes before other ICRISAT Scientists who came to attend a conference —. Just at that time I attended an interview for a post in ICRISAT, Hyderabad and got order immediately after the interview. I resigned my central government post and joined an international body. I encountered worse than this at ICRISAT where my work was published on my collegues names and informed the Dy. DG that I am not doing any work. But at a in-house meet I presented all my work. This was shocking to Dy. DG and then questioned my boss. After this I resigned and went Canberra for my Ph.D. At the farewell party all the top bosses questioned my boss in a open function. And my DG recommended my name to Brazilian DG of EMBRAPA in the ICRISAT Committee meeting. After submitting my thesis in 11 months and joined the Brazilian post.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • in continuation — let me give my experience on exactly opposite to the above. While doing my Ph.D., I used some models and the data was analysed using the software available on CSIRO computer. The computer-in-charge helped me running the programmes.

        One day my neighboure [sitting next to my cubicle] -Ph.D. Student asked for my appointment to discuss on the models I used instead of standard models used in Australia. In fact he approached my guides on this on the advise of his guides [one of them was the computer-in-charge in CSIRO]. My Guides suggested him to discuss with me. On one Sunday I presented why I am using the some models instead of Austraian model. He accepted my argument and he dumped his Ph.D. thesis and took up a new topic and completed his thesis. We both received Ph.D. at the time — this information was sent to me to my Brazil Address by the Ph.D. student.

        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  44. I work in a local government office. For years I supplied statistics on local traffic accidents to the university students for their papers, newspaper stories, activism, etc. One student asked for stats on an intersection near the college. I told him that there had been one accident the year before. He insisted I must be wrong because surely there were more. I told him I could only find the one. He asked how many near misses there had been. I told him those weren’t reported. He asked why not. I explained that unless an accident happens and is reported, I wouldn’t know about it. He insisted that it was a very dangerous intersection, and something had to be done. When I said that the statistics didn’t support that, he said he was sure it was dangerous and sure that something needed to be done. I’ve always kept that experience in mind when alamists say something has to be done. I also wonder who’s keeping the stats and counting the near misses.

  45. Energy use in existing buildings would a prima-fascia case for “corrupt science”. It has been funded by both EPA And DOE for too many years.
    Uptown Sinclair said it best – “It is hard to teach a person a new concept when their salary depends on them not understanding it.”
    The other quote I like is – “It is hard to teach a person a concept they think they already know”.

  46. If the authors would have written a paper exonerating neonics they would have gotten the Willy and Judith treatment by the greens. Maybe they just didn’t like the prospect.

    • Fear of the censorious consensus crowd’s condemnation of inconvenient findings keeps the timid aboard the bandwagon.

  47. The rot can be traced to the Ivy League Universities Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc. These universities all value profit, large presigea grants, puplications, getting rich and publicity above all other concerns. These uninversities have set the tone all other instituions around the world now follow. Loyalty to your nation or humanity, honor, objectivity, adherence to high scientific concepts and standards are no longer taught at these institutions. The scentists, journalists, judges, businese people, lawyers, physicians, and poliiticians graduating from these institutions leave with no moral, ethical or scientific standards. Their mantra is to build a name themselves and the university, become rich so will be innvited by your alma mater to give speeches, contribute $$$ as an alumni to show your success, and DO NOT CARE ABOUT THOSE YOU SCREW OVER TO ACCOMPLISH these GOALS!

    Why would anyone be surprised to discover the above graduates cheat and lie?

  48. For what it’s worth, my favorite example of bad science is the numerous papers studying the effect of acid rain on plant growth. It matters not that the lowest pH ever recorded by NAPAP was pH 3.45, a single sample in PA. Great funding was enjoyed by numerous researchers who demonstrated quite unequivocally that pH2 was bad for plants.

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