Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘environmental science’ Category

“I’m so done with it”: Conservationist speaks out against sexism in science

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Amanda Stanley

Amanda Stanley

Last week, we wrote about conservationist Stuart Pimm receiving criticism for casual sexism in a recent book review.

The journal did not retract the review, but it released an editor’s note condemning the language Pimm used, including quoting a movie scene in which a man told a woman “I don’t take whores in taxis.” Some readers have questioned whether this is really an instance of sexism, including here in the Retraction Watch comments.

So we reached out to Amanda Stanley, a conservation scientist who was so troubled by the book review that she wrote a letter to the editor, to be published soon in Biological Conservation. Here’s her powerful explanation of where this fits in the overall conversation about sexism in science:
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Written by Cat Ferguson

November 24th, 2014 at 11:30 am

‘‘I don’t take whores in taxis”: Casual sexism in scientific journal leads to editor’s note

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Author Stuart Pimm.

Author Stuart Pimm

The Elsevier journal Biological Conservation has put out an apology, but not a retraction, after outcry over a bizarre, misogynistic non sequitur in a book review by Duke conservation biologist Stuart Pimm.

Here’s the introduction to Pimm’s review of Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of Earth, which went online in October ahead of its December print publication: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 21st, 2014 at 11:40 am

At a snail’s pace: Species rediscovered, but paper on its disappearance remains

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biology lettersA few weeks ago, in Weekend Reads, we highlighted the story of a snail species, thought to have gone extinct thanks to global warming, that had been rediscovered.

Now, as first reported by The Scientist, the journal in question has addressed the issue.

Here’s the story: In 2007, Biology Letters published a paper by Justin Gerlach describing the extinction of the Aldabra banded snail. But as journal editor Richard Battarbee notes: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 17th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Authors of three retracted PLOS ONE papers to retract four more, with one researcher resigning

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ChemosphereThe hits keep coming for a research group at the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) in Chandigarh, India.

Last week, we reported that PLoS ONE was retracting three papers by the research group because “there are no data available underlying this study and thus…the published results are fabricated.” Now, according to The Hindu, four more papers are being retracted:
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Republished Seralini GMO-rat study was not peer-reviewed, says editor

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env sci europeIn our coverage Tuesday of the republication of the controversial retracted study of GMOs and rats by Gilles Seralini and colleagues, we wrote this about a strange passage in an editor’s note on the paper:

The republished study was peer-reviewed, according to the press materials, and Seralini confirmed that it was in an email to Retraction Watch. But we were curious what “any kind of appraisal of the paper’s content should not be connoted” meant. We asked Seralini and the editor of Environmental Sciences Europe, Henner Hollert, but neither responded.

Hollert has responded to the same question from Nature, which reports: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 26th, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Retracted Seralini GMO-rat study republished

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env sci europeA highly controversial — and retracted — 2012 study by Gilles Seralini and colleagues of the effects of genetically modified maize and the Roundup herbicide on rats has been republished.

Retraction Watch readers may recall that the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology decided to retract the heavily criticized paper because it was “inconclusive.” The editor, A. Wallace Hayes, claimed that this was consistent with Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, although we and many others disagreed.

Here’s the original abstract of the Food and Chemical Toxicology paper, which has been cited 55 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge: Read the rest of this entry »

Birds of a feather: Duplication grounds migration paper

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wemcoverA group of bird researchers in China has lost their article in Wetlands Ecology and Management on the migratory habits of shorebirds after the editors of the journal learned that they’d cobbled the paper together from their own previously published work.

The article by Song et. al., “Ecological stability of the shorebird stopover site in the Yalu River Estuary Wetlands, China,” had appeared online in February.

Here’s the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Retractions appear in case of former Kansas water scientist rebuked for misconduct

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groundwaterBack in December, the University of Kansas issued a public censure of a former water researcher who, the school says, engaged in a pattern of plagiarism and other shoddy publishing practices.

Marios Sophocleous, who’d held the position of senior scientist at the Kansas Geological Survey:

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Written by amarcus41

April 23rd, 2014 at 11:30 am

Journal grounds paper on radiation exposure in air traffic controllers because it was “published inadvertently”

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indjoccenvtmedThe Indian Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine has retracted a 2013 article by a pair of researchers who’d claimed to find that air traffic controllers suffer poor health from exposure to microwave radiation. But that turns out to have been an, um, flight of fancy.

The article, “Adverse health effects of occupational exposure to radiofrequency radiation in airport surveillance radar operators,” was written by Naser Dehghan and Shahram Taeb, both of Shiraz University in Iran. According to the abstract:

Controversial Seralini GMO-rats paper to be retracted

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food and chemical toxicologyA heavily criticized study of the effects of genetically modified maize and the Roundup herbicide on rats is being retracted — one way or another.

The paper — by Gilles Seralini and colleagues — was published in Food and Chemical Toxicology last year. There have been calls for retraction since then, along with other criticism and a lengthy exchange of letters in the journal. Meanwhile, the paper has been cited 28 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, and the French National Assembly (their lower house of Parliament) held a long hearing on the paper last year, with Seralini and other scientists testifying.

Now, as reported in the French media, the editor of the journal, A. Wallace Hayes, has sent Seralini a letter saying that the paper will be retracted if Seralini does not agree to withdraw it.

Here’s most of the November 19 letter, including Hayes’ proposed retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »