Considering how dirty the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is, this appears to be yet another defeat for transparency. Let’s not forget my post from last summer The FDA is Caught Spying on its Employees and Creating an “Enemies List” in order to recognize the importance of whistleblowing in the era of peak corruption we live in. From Forbes:
Those of us concerned about the decaying credibility of Big Science were dismayed to learn that the whistleblower site Science Fraud has been shut down due to a barrage of legal threats against its operator.
Operated as a crowdsourced reference site much like Wikipedia, Science Fraud, in its six months of operation, documented egregiously suspicious research results published in over 300 peer reviewed publications. Many were subsequently retracted, including a paper by an author whose lawyer sent Science Fraud a cease and desist letter.
Fraud, plagiarism, cherry-picked results, poor or non-existent controls, confirmation bias, opaque, missing, or unavailable data, and stonewalling when questioned have gone from being rare to being everyday occurrences. Just look at the soaring retraction level across multiple scientific publications and the increasingly vocal hand wringing of science vigilantes.
When I first began looking into the increasingly vexing problem of irreproducible scientific research I assumed that the bulk of the problem was caused by sloppy science. Not so, says a National Academy of Sciences study that attributes two thirds of the retractions in the biomedical and life-sciences to scientific misconduct. And remember, these are only the people that have gotten caught.
Conspiracy theory? I have personally spoken to young graduate students asked to review papers on behalf of their PIs who detected falsified data, usually by noticing identical noise floors in two different readings – a statistical impossibility. They were told to keep quiet about it. These fraudulent results are now part of the scientific literature.
We need more sites like this not less.
Full article here.