And why it matters:
The most basic level of trust in science is trust that the reported experiment actually happened. Joe Hilgard described his efforts to report scientific misconduct at the level of fabricated trials, and found that the journals mostly weren’t interested. Moreover, the fraudulent researchers would simply change their tactics once he pointed out their fraud. For example, after Hilgard pointed out that a trial with over 3,000 subjects was unlikely to have occurred, the researcher in question now sets his sample sizes at a believable couple hundred.
Another level of trust is the idea that a citation to a source accurately reports the information there. In my experience, it is the norm, rather than the exception, for cited claims in popular science books and review papers to misstate the claims of their sources. The popular science book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, for example, was eviscerated for its misleading citations by Alexey Guzey in a review, but this did not result in any institutional action toward Walker or public acknowledgement of the flaws in the book. Walker was defended as promoting an important message, even if he got a few things wrong in shady ways. (One reviewer, aware of the Guzey criticisms, said that Walker can be forgiven for his errors, because his exuberance comes from the right place.)
The term “pious fraud” is usually used to refer to religious people who knowingly promote hoaxes while believing in the underlying religious message of the hoax; it was a term commonly used in the skeptical movement of the 1990s to refer to people like stigmatics, faith healers, and the creator of the Shroud of Turin. Similar to pious frauds, researchers who believe in the truth of the message of “sleep is good for you” or “social behavior is automatic” or the like may produce or promote silly findings they know to be false or meaningless, because these findings support an important message.Sarah Perry, “How trust undermines science” at Works in Progress (September 14, 2021)
And more. Actually, there is probably better evidence for the Shroud of Turin than for many claims made in science journals today — if only because the claims must weather much more skepticism.