Sunday, March 21, 2010 by: Aaron Turpen, citizen journalist
(NaturalNews) Media headlines are full of stories about the fraudulent hucksters who lie at the edges of the natural remedies and anti-vaccine cultures, but when scientists in accepted fields of study are caught faking results and cooking the books, the stories go largely unreported. Andrew Wakefield gets censured for one paper from over ten years ago and it’s front page news. When 70 scientific papers from two scientists analyzing chemical structures are found to be well-written fiction, barely a peep is heard.
This obvious bias on the part of the bulk of the media is flagrant and obvious. It took weeks for the media to pick up on the leaked emails and possible fraud going on in England at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia. Blogs and websites circulated the story as soon as it was discovered, and they have been instrumental in cracking the case and showcasing the fraud and insider dealing that goes on in the climate research field.
That was just the tip of the iceberg.
In December, the University of Alabama at Birmingham requested that 11 protein structures be removed from databases and the papers written on them be retracted from journals,1 including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which has already made the retraction.2
The granddaddy of the group, however, is what was alluded to at the beginning of this article. In January, an editorial appeared in Acta Crystallographica Section E, an eminent Scottish journal of chemistry, and announced the retraction of over 70 peer-reviewed studies by two Chinese scientists from Jinggangshan University.3 At about the same time, the BBC News did a brief story on the money that may have changed hands to facilitate the scientific research – China has a black market for research as professors and others can receive large bonuses for being published in foreign journals.4
In 2008, Mike Adams revealed the ghostwriting of papers isn’t just a Chinese phenomenon. Pharmaceutical companies have been doing it for years and were finally exposed. In-house Big Pharma writers pen the scientific papers and then pay off respected doctors and scientists outside of the pharmaceutical company to put their name on it.5
These are just some of the hundreds of stories of scientific fraud and mis-handling that have appeared over the past decade or more. Yet news media and academia rarely question science and pundits on the television point to “peer reviewed science” as if it’s the end-all, be-all of the scientific method and provides irrefutable truths.
The peer-review process is not, however, as perfect and sacrosanct as most in academia would like you to believe. In fact, it is fundamentally flawed and is a more recent phenomenon in scientific research and publication than most people realize.
1 – UAB Statement on Protein Data Bank Issues University of Alabama
2 – Dengue virsu NS3 serine proteas. Journal of Biological Chemistry retracted article (one of several by author H.M. Krishna Murthy)
3 – Editorial by William T.A. Harrison, Jim Simpson, and Matthias Weil, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Aberdeen, Vol 66, January 2010
4 – Chinese academia ghost-writing ‘widespread’ BBC News, 5 Jan 2010
5 – Widespread Ghostwriting of Drug Trials Means “Scientific” Credibility of Pharmaceutical Industry is a Sham by Mike Adams, NaturalNews