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Science is like hockey

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It can be the greatest game on Earth. And it can be vastly more useful. But:

Further to A growing serious interest in the science journal retraction problem?, this also landed in the In Bin yesterday:

In the language of science, calling results “incredibly nice” is not a compliment—it’s tantamount to accusing a researcher of being cavalier, or even of fabricating findings. But rather than heed the warning, the journal, Anesthesia & Analgesia, punted. It published the letter to the editor, together with an explanation from Fujii, which asked, among other things, “how much evidence is required to provide adequate proof?” In other words, “Don’t believe me? Tough.” Anesthesia & Analgesia went on to publish 11 more of Fujii’s papers. One of the co-authors of the letter, Christian Apfel, then of the University of Würzburg, in Germany, went to the United States Food and Drug Administration to alert them to the issues he and his colleagues had raised. He never heard back.

Carlisle’s conclusion was much like that of the anesthesiologists who called out Fujii in 2000—only this time, people paid attention. Shortly after Carlisle’s findings appeared, a Japanese investigation concluded that only three of 212 published papers by Fujii contained clearly reliable data. For 38 others, evidence of fraud was inconclusive. Eventually 171 papers were deemed to have been wholly fabricated. As the Japanese report concluded: “It is as if someone sat at a desk and wrote a novel about a research idea.” More.

Yer News hack knows lots of fiction authors. But they make clear they are writing fiction. Not science.

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