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Whistleblower Science Fraud Site is Shut Down

Posted By Joanne Nova On January 20, 2013 @ 2:14 am In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

I would like to see what was on the Science Fraud site. The only parts left seem eminently admirable. Apparently in just six months, the site received anonymous tips documenting suspicious results in over 300 papers. Some of those papers were subsequently retracted.

Wherever there are big dollars, big-corruption follows. Whaddayaknow? Sadly, science is just like any other human endeavor. For every site reporting science fraud that is shut down, may ten alternatives spring forth.

Libertyblitzkrieg.com says “We need more sites like this not less.”

Bill Frezza describes what is known about the site’s demise on Forbes.

A Barrage Of Legal Threats Shuts Down Whistleblower Site, Science Fraud

Those of us concerned about the decaying credibility of Big Science were dismayed to learn that the whistleblower site Science Fraud has been shut down due to a barrage of legal threats against its operator. With billions of dollars in federal science funding hinging on the integrity of academic researchers, and billions more in health care dollars riding on the truthfulness of pharmaceutical research claims, the industry needs more websites like this, not fewer.

Regular readers of Retraction Watch, a watchdog site run by two medical reporters, got the news along with a story about the blog’s anonymous editor, who has since come forward and identified himself as Professor Paul Brookes, a researcher at the University of Rochester. Operated as a crowdsourced reference site much like Wikipedia, Science Fraud, in its six months of operation, documented egregiously suspicious research results published in over 300 peer reviewed publications. Many were subsequently retracted, including a paper by an author whose lawyer sent Science Fraud a cease and desist letter.

This is about scientists behaving badly

There are more retractions due to scientific misconduct than to errors:

When I first began looking into the increasingly vexing problem of irreproducible scientific research I assumed that the bulk of the problem was caused by sloppy science. Not so, says a National Academy of Sciences study that attributes two thirds of the retractions in the biomedical and life-sciences to scientific misconduct. And remember, these are only the people that have gotten caught.

At least there are plans to fill the gap…

The change will come not from public policy, but from the conscientious action of brave individuals. If you witness science fraud and you don’t speak out, consider yourself part of the problem. Meanwhile, a proposal is being drafted to establish a non‐profit foundation, the Association for Anonymous Post‐Publication Peer Review (AAPPR), whose purpose will be to continue the mission of Science Fraud under the auspices of an open, properly managed governance structure. Stay tuned as the story develops.

Read the rest on Forbes

Can anyone find a website, or cached copy of the site? Can someone file copies of the pages left up which advise anonymous whistleblowers how to stay anonymous? There is much we might learn from this effort in another high-finance field of science.

h/t David.

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