Thursday, 19 April 2012

Doctors Can Be Frauds And Supervillains

Kevin Drum has a very interesting post up right now on the upward trend of retracted papers in the biomedical community and, more importantly, the rise of papers retracted due to fabricated results.  Whether this means more results are being fabricated, or just that scrutiny has intensified, I don't know.  Indeed, Drum's suggestion that it's time to "clear house", as it were, might already be happening: one would assume such an effort would lead to a large retraction spike in any case.

Either way, though, it all makes for interesting reading (I've lifted the relevant chart and stuck it to the right).  All that said, I think the most interesting part of it is the fact that this investigation was run by Doctors Ferric Fang and Arcturo Casadevall.  If those two names showed up in a comic book, I'd be pissed off about how little effort had gone into hiding the fact they were clearly evil.  I can only presume Ferric Fang is fighting fraud in the academic community only because he can't fight Wolverine over possession of the adamantium bonding process.

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