Why is so much of Science now fake? There are many small reasons, but one big one. Our Expertocracy. Here is a small survey proving this.
Anon posted a cri de coeur on r/PhD about a week back. “I am an academic fraud”. A full confession of his role in creating Science™, including details of how much in science is fake.
But Anon had a turn back toward evil, or was coerced, or feared discovery, or the effeminates who run Reddit whacked both his post and the comments to it. However, a kind soul on Twitter was able to discover much of it at Arxiv.
Roughly, the original post stated that the man’s group engaged in a lot of fake, good-old-boy back-scratching reviews, data padding, re-running of experiments until significance achieved, looking the other way, non-testing of theories, a lot of outright cheating. He was sorry for what he did, and was shocked at how pervasive the practices were.
Not just in his group, but in those his senior colleagues worked with, too.
Reason? Let’s wait and see.
Here’s a few quotes from the archived post that contain the original (which somebody reposted as a comment). This is long but worth it.
It all started early in my PhD as a new graduate student…I joined a group…At first I thought they were extremely productive and were knowledgeable on just about everything due to their research output. These students/postdocs were averaging about 3 first-author papers per year, amazing.
…After submitting, my supervisor asked me to draft comments for my paper. I though of this an an exercise to imagine I am reviewing my own paper to find any potential holes that reviewers may ask. Except it turns out that I was LITERALLY reviewing my own paper. When I got the comments back I found that I was actually reviewer #1. It turns out, this was extremely common and almost every one in my group did this for all their papers. My supervisor has a network of “friends” who he requests as reviewers, who then let him give comments for his own papers.
…My name, being Western, could add significant value to these foreigners papers…In a few cases, [supervisor] even demanded to put me as co-first author on papers for other group members that I had edited many papers for…
…throughout the years I saw peers who clearly had data that was either fabricated or misrepresentative. A very common theme was to test the performance of something 200 times, and take the single best data point and call it representative. Literally the other 199 times could be worse than controls. My supervisor loved this and just cared about showing what is “possible” and everyone else in my group accepted this as normal practice…
Then COVID hit. I was writing my thesis but couldn’t collect data in the lab anymore…So I did it. I caved…In one of my chapters I had 8 sets of data in a figure but two were with a different set of parameters from the rest. I needed them all to be the same, but because of COVID and the instrument being broken, I had no chance at all. So I modified the axis to make the two look to be taken with the same parameters as the other 8. I falsified the results…
I am not a good person, and this has eaten me away from the inside…I just want others to know my story so that you don’t follow the same path as me.
This is China, maybe?
Something beyond money is needed for this level of deception, assuming the story is true. It at least rhymes with true.
Hold that in mind as we gaze upon this image, featured in today’s post header (see on the main page):
It’s taken from a newspaper in Taiwan, one shot of many that slipped by. The guy on the left is Taiwan’s Dr Fauci. This is a news conference at which, among other items, the importance of masks and social distancing was emphasized, because muh Science.
Using masterful Gimp editing, I highlighted how the plexi-Science-glass separator does nothing. At all. This proves much of public Science is a matter of theater, like everything else. Yet another noble lie.
Next, here’s an article from July: How Much Scientific Research Is Actually Fraudulent? We’ll cover the linked articles within in more detail later. For now, a quote or two.
A 2015 British Academy of Medical Sciences report suggested that the false discovery rate in some areas of biomedicine could be as high as 69 percent. In an email exchange with me, Ioannidis estimated that the nonreplication rates in biomedical observational and preclinical studies could be as high as 90 percent…
“More than half of Dutch scientists regularly engage in questionable research practices, such as hiding flaws in their research design or selectively citing literature. And one in 12 [8 percent] admitted to committing a more serious form of research misconduct within the past 3 years: the fabrication or falsification of research results.” Daniele Fanelli, a research ethicist at the London School of Economics, tells Science that 51 percent of researchers admitting to questionable research practices “could still be an underestimate.”…
In a blistering editorial earlier this week, former editor of the medical journal The BMJ Richard Smith asks if it’s “time to assume that health research is fraudulent until proven otherwise.”
We still haven’t got to the Why, our main interest. Here it is. Watch it all.
Senator Rand Paul tears into HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra:
"Are you a doctor?…You ignore history & science to shame the 'flat-earthers,' as you call them. You should be ashamed of yourself & apologize to the American people for being dishonest about naturally acquired immunity." pic.twitter.com/yDt3hX4DsS
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 30, 2021
You won’t find a better example of the hubris of Experts than this. When asked if had any medical or science training to back his false assertions, Becerra replied, “I’ve worked over thirty years on health policy.”
That is the Expertocracy speaking. Memorize this.
Experts do not believe the Argument from Authority is a fallacy. It is instead their mantra. Do you think Becerra will acknowledge this mistakes after this dressing down?
No. He will insist he is right because he has Authority. His will is de facto law. All the proof he needs.
All know innately we live in a global Expertocracy (with many regional power centers, of course). The path to power is to enter it, to become an Expert. Nothing does this faster than claiming to be a scientist, and doing science.
Since not everybody can perform at the level to be a skilled scientist, fakery is inevitable. Shortcuts, cons, wee p-values as magic, outright fraud. Anything to gain the credential as an official Expert.
The Perversity and Diversity quotas, the lessening of standards and general inflation of all things in our culture is part of all this, in the obvious way.
The other path is the one Becerra took. To “do” policy in the name of Science, which in his name is equivalent to doing science. Hasn’t every coronadoom and global warming (to name only two) policy been said to have been constructed by Science?
There is no cure for this. None. The Expertocracy will not disappear. It is the Way Things Are in global politics now. We can’t vote it away. I repeat myself, but the only solution is to replace their Experts with our Experts.
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