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  • Looks Like It Is True After All......

    I have been saying this for years now, in various evolutionary and/or AGW debates, anytime the sanctity or purity of science is evoked, that scientist suffer from the same pressures and influences as the rest of us. But anytime I have made this comment, I have been attacked, called ignorant, assured that "no, no, no, no, of course Scientist are above those petty concerns! They are conducting Science, after all!"

    Now, even Science Daily admits it.

    Do Pressures to Publish Increase Scientists' Bias?

    Quote:

    The quality of scientific research may be suffering because academics are being increasingly pressured to produce 'publishable' results, a new study suggests. A large analysis of papers in all disciplines shows that researchers report more "positive" results for their experiments in US states where academics publish more frequently.

    The condition of today's scientists is commonly described by the expression "publish or perish." Their careers are increasingly evaluated based on the sheer number of papers listed in their CVs, and by the number of citations received -- a measure of scientific quality that is hotly debated. To secure jobs and funding, therefore, researchers must publish continuously. The problem is that papers are likely to be accepted by journals and to be cited depending on the results they report.

    "Scientists face an increasing conflict of interest, torn between the need to be accurate and objective and the need to keep their careers alive" says Fanelli, "while many studies have shown the deleterious effects of financial conflicts of interests in biomedical research, no one has looked at this much broader conflict, which might affect all fields."

    These conclusions could apply to all scientifically advanced countries. "Academic competition for funding and positions is increasing everywhere," says Fanelli "Policies that rely too much on cold measures of productivity might be lowering the quality of science itself."

    End Quote. Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0421172558.htm

    On this very website I was told by one of the oppositions most revered that scientist are not motivated by such concerns as funding and fame, that the very process of science prevents such concerns from having any sort of negative impact on the finished product. Perhaps in this case, at least here, I was before my time.
    Last edited by Martok; 22 Apr 10, 11:44.

  • #2
    "scientist are not motivated by such concerns as funding and fame, that the very process of science prevents such concerns from having any sort of negative impact on the finished product."

    Hehehehehehehahahahahahehehehehahahahehahahehahh

    Scientists are human.

    They are fallible.

    It would be nice if they were less fallible, wouldn't it be nice if we were all less fallible.
    Life is change. Built models for decades.
    Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
    I didn't for a long time either.

    Comment


    • #3
      "Do Pressures to Publish Increase Scientists' Bias?"

      Is the Pope German?

      In their recent book, Climate of Extremes, climatologists Pat Michaels and Robert Balling surveyed one year's worth of climate science publications in Nature and Science. If there was no publication bias, there should be an equal probability of each new publication concluding that some aspect of climate science was either worse than previously thought or better than previously thought. Well the ratio over that one year period was about 8:1 in favor of "worse than previously thought." The fact that the observational data continues to turn out "better" than the models predicted means that this negative bias is even worse than it seems.

      One of the problems with trying to develop policies based on some perceived consensus in peer reviewed literature is the fact that there will always be a publication bias toward a problem being much worse than it is. Research that turns up nothing anomalous rarely gets published. This is called the "file drawer problem." It is a fact of life in all fields of science and research. There is nothing noteworthy about finding nothing. It's a dead end. The work gets filed away and the scientist moves on to the next thing on his to do list. This is a natural part of science. If I look at 100 offshore blocks for a lease sale and I find leads on 10 of them; I'm not going to work on the other 90 blocks any more. I'm not going to do detailed mapping of something that is not prospective. As I do more detailed work on the 10 leads, I may find that only 5 are genuine prospects. At the end of the day (or more like 8 weeks) 95% of the blocks that I looked at go into the file drawer. I show the other 5 to my boss.
      Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Martok View Post
        I have been saying this for years now, in various evolutionary and/or AGW debates, anytime the sanctity or purity of science is evoked, that scientist suffer from the same pressures and influences as the rest of us. But anytime I have made this comment, I have been attacked, called ignorant, assured that "no, no, no, no, of course Scientist are above those petty concerns! They are conducting Science, after all!"

        Now, even Science Daily admits it.

        Do Pressures to Publish Increase Scientists' Bias?

        Quote:

        The quality of scientific research may be suffering because academics are being increasingly pressured to produce 'publishable' results, a new study suggests. A large analysis of papers in all disciplines shows that researchers report more "positive" results for their experiments in US states where academics publish more frequently.

        The condition of today's scientists is commonly described by the expression "publish or perish." Their careers are increasingly evaluated based on the sheer number of papers listed in their CVs, and by the number of citations received -- a measure of scientific quality that is hotly debated. To secure jobs and funding, therefore, researchers must publish continuously. The problem is that papers are likely to be accepted by journals and to be cited depending on the results they report.

        "Scientists face an increasing conflict of interest, torn between the need to be accurate and objective and the need to keep their careers alive" says Fanelli, "while many studies have shown the deleterious effects of financial conflicts of interests in biomedical research, no one has looked at this much broader conflict, which might affect all fields."

        These conclusions could apply to all scientifically advanced countries. "Academic competition for funding and positions is increasing everywhere," says Fanelli "Policies that rely too much on cold measures of productivity might be lowering the quality of science itself."

        End Quote. Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0421172558.htm

        On this very website I was told by one of the oppositions most revered that scientist are not motivated by such concerns as funding and fame, that the very process of science prevents such concerns from having any sort of negative impact on the finished product. Perhaps in this case, at least here, I was before my time.
        Klingons Suck!

        Comment


        • #5
          I understand that, Doc, but that is a bit different from what I have been saying.

          Your five blocks will not be better received by your boss if you include into your research the default assumption that there is no God or if you agree with Al Gore you will get more money.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Martok View Post
            I understand that, Doc, but that is a bit different from what I have been saying.

            Your five blocks will not be better received by your boss if you include into your research the default assumption that there is no God or if you agree with Al Gore you will get more money.
            The principle is the same. If your research returns a negative correlation, you tend not to publish. So a publication bias toward positive correlations forms.

            There is also that paradigm thing. If you are publishing something that is counter-paradigm (like Lamarckian evolution of e coli or non-GHG-driven climate change), your work will be scrutinized more closely in the peer review process. So it will be harder to publish. If you need to publish (X) times per year... You'll crank out (X+1) "Hockey Stick" publications because they fit the paradigm and fly right on through peer review.

            Pressure to publish leads to publication bias and paradigm reinforcement.

            Going against the paradigm makes it harder to publish and it can lead to being treated like a heretic.
            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Martok View Post
              I have been saying this for years now, in various evolutionary and/or AGW debates, anytime the sanctity or purity of science is evoked, that scientist suffer from the same pressures and influences as the rest of us. But anytime I have made this comment, I have been attacked, called ignorant, assured that "no, no, no, no, of course Scientist are above those petty concerns! They are conducting Science, after all!"
              Not on this forum you haven't. I think most people here have pointed out that the Hollywood/TV view of science has nothing to do with reality. Shouldn't even be used as a straw man.

              Basically "publish or perish" has been a huge complaint of scientist (or anybody in a research environment) for a long time, but it doesn't mean science is "bad." It's becoming more intense now with universities, etc., using business models to measure "success"--publication as a quantifiable widget. But going from this to "science is bad" (or whatever the overarching point is) is like reading an article on how increasing student:teacher ratios degrades the quality of education and concluding that there is something wrong with the concept of education.

              I looked at the original article (linked to at the bottom of the ScienceDaily piece) and it didn't do much for me, although I agree with the basic premise (the trivial observation that positive results are more fun than negative results). I look at the three figures (esp. 2 and 3) and (without doing the sums) I wonder what it took to get a significant (i.e. "positive" ) finding out of that data. It looks as if any slope to the correlation would have to have been produced by the outliers.
              Last edited by Zemlekop; 22 Apr 10, 18:54.
              Every 10 years a great man.
              Who paid the bill?

              Comment


              • #8
                However, I pointed out, and you vehemently disagreed, that the "rush to publish" was an example of what leads the to deterioration of traditional science, which used to depend on a preponderance of data and findings before coming to any conclusion. Today, it's the "instant theory" of things that rules the scientific world.
                Last edited by Mountain Man; 22 Apr 10, 19:00.
                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                  However, I pointed out, and you vehemently disagreed, that the "rush to publish" was an example of what leads the deterioration of science. It's the "instant theory" of things that rules science today.
                  No, I vehemently disagreed that it was anything new. Apparently you recall a time when "publish or perish" was not a common expression.
                  Every 10 years a great man.
                  Who paid the bill?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nope - I was specifically talking about the "rush to publish" and the "instant theories" that plague the scientific community of today.

                    A prime example was the discovery of a finger bone in a cave. It wasn't immediately recognizable, so it instantly became a "new species of hominid," based on almost no real research at all. This is the all-to-prevalent rule of thumb these days.

                    Remember when Ballard found the Titanic and immediately announced that it had struck the sea bottom at at least 100 mph? In his rush to publicity, he overlooked a small item called physics and terminal velocirty in water, which is around 30 mph. Since then, the "facts" about the sinking of Titanic have changed repeatedly, and bear no resemblance to Ballard's original "facts" at all.

                    "Publish or perish" has indeed been the maxim for alog time, but it firly understood that what you published had better stand up to the most rigorous scrutiny or you were ruined. Now, the scientists merely change course when thir instant theories turn out to be worthless and claim it was all either a misunderstanding, or like the climatology disaster, someone else's fault entirely.
                    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, I have.

                      I will put up the quotes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Martok View Post
                        Yes, I have.

                        I will put up the quotes.
                        Make a nice chart and a graph, instead.
                        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          On second thought, nevermind. With all due respect I don't need Zem to tell me what I have and haven't said. I know what I said because I said it. Anyone interested can research it themselves, I am not going to waste my time responding to an false charge just because I touched a nerve.

                          And who the hell said anything about holloywood science? And where was my conclusion that because of the findings cited in the article "science is bad"? Talk about knocking down strawmen and then declaring victory, this could be used as a primer.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have two friends that have PhD's in "pure" sciences, and both have admitted to me privately that the pressure to tow the party line on climate change is pretty powerful so this really not surprising to me.
                            Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                            That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rojik View Post
                              I have two friends that have PhD's in "pure" sciences, and both have admitted to me privately that the pressure to tow the party line on climate change is pretty powerful so this really not surprising to me.
                              "Toeing the line" is SOP in most scientific fields. There is a lot of pressure to publish. It's a lot easier to publish papers that toe the line. This leads to a preponderance of papers that support the current paradigm.

                              However, most major scientific advances are the result of counter-paradigm revolutions.
                              Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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