The Fleecing of America by Biomedical Research Administration

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Wed Mar 20 20:23:13 EST 1996



On Wed, 20 Mar 1996, Troy Shinbrot wrote:

> What a fantasy!  How many people reading this have witnessed within the
> past 2 decades anything resembling a situation where the government has
> tried to overfund research and universities have screamed for the
> government to stop?  I can see our university president now, "Please,
> please, no more money!  We can't take any more!  Stop, stop!!"

You seem to miss here that research money among professors
are distributed GROSSLY unequally (and unfairly). There are
many profs with approximately comparable rate of publications,
citations, etc of which Prof # 1 can be very generously funded
(has enough grant money to hire several full time positions), 
while the Prof # 2 can be completely unfunded. 
('Not what you know but whom you know' principle in full 
operation). 

[ snip ]

> As for the assertion that "investigators ... will often fake or select
> data ..." this is both false and cheap.  

Boundary between 'faking' and 'selecting' is not always
that clear. Mathematiacally speaking from large enough
data set your can cook up almost anything, so the 
distinction between selecting and faking gets blurred.

> Investigators do, almost always, select what data to show.  

Why they do this ? For whom they try trimming ?
(unless it is a trivial discard of clearly erroneously 
measured data)

> Investigators very rarely fake data. 

How do you know this ?  

> I can count the number of substantiated allegations of fakery 
> over the past decade on the fingers of one hand, 

You are talking only of those cases which were reported
and invesitgated. For your info: about 90-95 % of all
shopliftings go undetected (recent social study based on
multiplicity of sources). So, how do you know that the 
reported cases of scietific misconduct is not just a
tiny tip of an iceberg, most of which is under the water ?

> Scientists have if anything shown themselves to 
> be _less_ prone to cheating than the general public, not
> more.
> 

How nice to hear such a wondeful claim !

('we, scientists, are more honest than you [ the public ]').

What a luck that George Burns just gone, otherwise he would
choked from laughter.  

[ rest deleted ]



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