Weekend reads: The need for more honesty in science; a fight between authors of a GM mosquito paper; faked academic CVs

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The week at Retraction Watch featured a case of doing the right thing in autism research; two more retractions for a formerly high-profile Harvard stem cell researcher; and the retraction of a paper claiming that a religious upbringing is linked to less generosity. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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2 thoughts on “Weekend reads: The need for more honesty in science; a fight between authors of a GM mosquito paper; faked academic CVs”

  1. Re: “When CVs Are Too Good to Be True
    Faculty search committees take note: academic dishonesty extends to CVs, according to a new study.”

    A simple proposal to remedy this (or significantly mitigate): require CVs be delivered in electronic form with active hyperlinks to underlying papers.

  2. The comment on the series of papers published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on health effects of eating meat is unfair. A search through the two references provided will reveal the original articles, which are not behind any paywall. The corresponding author for all the studies was Dr Guyatt of McMaster University, and I assumed he was responsible for putting the studies together: he has certainly published previous papers on the technique used. Dr Johnston appears to have been an important voice among the 14 contributing authors. In one sentence, the studies show that the ill effects of eating red or processed meat are likely small, and the authors concluded this study does not support widespread exclusion of meat from the diet.
    Dr Johnston claimed that he had no conflict of interest (as did the 13 other authors) but a search by critics revealed he had previously received financial report from an industry group supporting sugar as a nutrient. He responded that the journal only required the authors to report a conflict of interest in the last three years, and that he received no industry support for the meat study (in fact the whole study had no financial support listed).
    The furious response to these studies published in the press reflects poorly on nutritional research. Since the authors only used existing information, it is up to critics to provide alternative ways of examining the same data, and not to simply provide ad hominem attacks.

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