August 17, 2006
"Fake But Accurate" Science?
The American Association for the Advancement of Science claims for its journal Science 'the largest paid circulation of any peer—reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million.' Be that as it may, Science is the Dan Rather of science journalism. "Fake Data, but Could the Idea Still Be Right?" in the July 14 issue actually makes the following statement (emphases mine): European investigators last week confirmed that a pioneering oral cancer researcher in Norway had fabricated much of his work. The news left experts in his field with a pressing question: What should they believe now? Suppose his findings, which precisely identified people at high risk of the deadly disease, were accurate even though data were faked? AAAS's fake—but—accurate standard of scientific rigor applies not merely to the science of such obscure and unimportant subjects as death, disease, and cancer, but extends even to the science of impending...(Read Full Article)