View From The Trenches

U27111 at U27111 at
Wed Jul 5 03:02:03 EST 1995

I received another personal e-mail on this matter and as usual will
share my reply...

As I respect the anonymity of personal e-mail... I will not post
the name of the person replying, but just refer to that person's
comments as 'C'.

C: I've read some of your posts, some points are valid, well, many
C: of your points are valid. Your statistics suck!

What statistics?  I have only previously quoted from the article
"Scientists, institutions downplay misconduct - Accusers hit office
probing their charges as ineffectual" by Leslie Alan Horvitz.  The
Washington Times, May 3, 1994, pp.A6....

And this article stated that the results of a survey as done by the
Acadia Institute of Bar Harbor, Maine which showed 43% of graduate
students and 50% of faculty members have "direct knowledge" of some
kind of misconduct in their laboratories.  Where misconduct is
defined as fraud, falsification and plagiarism (note: sloppiness
was not included in this survey).

And Jules Hallum, a virologist and former director of the Office of
Scientific Integrity is also quoted in this article as saying, "I
think that sloppy science is so much more dangerous than crooked
science, since there is so much more of it."

C: You've worked in how many labs? You've worked with how many grad
C: students?  From these insignificant n values you make sweeping
C: generalizations.

I've worked for 7 years in research and seen a lot (not only
directly working with, but also of the people around me).

As a matter of fact... a friend (who has since left the field
totally) and I have spent a few years collecting stupid lab tricks.
We were going to publish it one day...  maybe still???


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