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Big Euro research fraud: More and more science today resembles the medieval trade in fake relics.

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In Nature News, we learn: “Europe tackles huge fraud: Regulators scramble to recover millions of euros awarded to fake research projects.” (Quririn Shiermeier, 14 June 2011):

talian authorities and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) in Brussels, Belgium, have confirmed that they are prosecuting members of a large network accused of pocketing more than €50 million (US$72 million) in EC grants for fake research projects. In Milan, Italy, the Finance Police last month charged several individuals in relation to the fraud. In Brussels, meanwhile, the EC has terminated four collaborative projects in information technology, and excluded more than 30 grant-winners from participation in around 20 ongoing projects. Investigations are still under way in the United Kingdom, France, Greece, Austria, Sweden, Slovenia and Poland. 

“We don’t have any records of [previous] fraud at such a scale,” says David Boublil, the commission’s spokesman for taxation, customs, anti-fraud and audit. While investigations continue, Italian prosecutors and OLAF will not disclose the names of the suspects, or the research projects with which they were involved.

Some say that a lot of research today is so stupid, it may as well be fraud. That, they say, would at least explain it.

"research fraud" "science today resembles the medieval trade in fake relics" "research today is so stupid, it may as well be fraud." vs. the real story: "a criminal syndicate ... conducting a brazen fraud that has siphoned off millions in EC grant funds." Conflating theft of research funds by non-scientist criminals with shoddy science seems dishonest to a high degree. Salacious headline vs. truth. Ironic, considering the top post as I write this says "In most careers, being wrong too often is grounds for dismissal." Of course, that refers to astronomers, whose data lies millions to billions of miles away, and must refine their theories with each new discovery. Their fault lies only in our collective ignorance, our slow ability to observe through sophisticated missions that take years of planning, funding, and executions. 'News' here could perform his/her career duty to not be wrong too often merely by following the link, reading the story, and accurately reporting it. DrREC
I don't see what the problem is. You steal money from some people to give it to other people and then complain about how it's used? Mung

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