Nearly 10% of USDA scientists believe their work has been tampered with

A survey of Dept of Agriculture (USDA) scientists by the agency’s inspector general suggests some very fishy things are going on in government science:

[Darryl Fears, Washington Post]   According to the survey’s findings, nearly 10 percent said their research has been tampered with or altered by superiors “for reasons other than technical merit,” possibly because of political considerations.

Looks like  Monopsony Trouble: When almost all the research in some fields is done by government funding (one buyer), there is no competition. In answer to that, instead of finding ways to encourage competition, the government set up an agency instead — the SIP.

That didn’t work either.

In the survey, 85 percent of the 1,300 scientists who responded said the Scientific Integrity Policy established to protect their work didn’t benefit them, or offered no opinion. Nearly 20 percent said they didn’t know the policy existed.

Nearly 40 percent didn’t bother to take the survey, according to findings released April 13. Of those who did, more than half said they didn’t know how to file a complaint and some said they didn’t do so because they feared retaliation.

“You do not need to have many cases to create a strong chilling effect, and the current science climate inside USDA is quite nippy,” said Jeff Ruch, executive director of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which represented Lundgren.

The real story is no free speech, because when the biggest employer in town wants a certain kind of answer, there are ways to find it:

The USDA has said it doesn’t retaliate against any employee, and disputed Lundgren’s claim that he was targeted to suppress his science. Lundgren had been with the agency 11 years, ran his own lab with a staff and wrote a well-regarded book on predator insects, but his career began to fall apart when he published research that cautioned against the use of pesticides approved by the agency.

The story goes on to describe Lundgren’s 2014 whistleblower experience of suddenly having odd rules selectively enforced against him, but not against other researchers. Et Voila…

And this is only agriculture. You might think it would be tame.

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15 comments to Nearly 10% of USDA scientists believe their work has been tampered with

  • #

    Apparently this is a growing threat to scientific integrity. But what do you expect for climate alchemy based on an honest mistake in 1969 by James Hansen, another mistake in 1976 by R D Cess and in the same year a fraudulent 1-D modelling paper by GISS involving Hansen?

    24 years later he admitted that failure but claimed the 3-D models were fine. The trouble is Hansen’s 1969 error allowed the late husband of the recent Chief Scientist of UKMO to devise a Kirchhoff’s Radiation Law replacement for Hansen’s non-existent negative convection claim, also ‘positive feedback’, a modelling artefact.

    The reality is that the sign of the corrected 2nd AIE is reversed so CO2-AGW is offset as the planetary control system ensures near constant radiation entropy production. UKMO is quietly burying CO2-AGW to stop UK taxpayers realising they have been conned.


    • #

      The threat to scientific integrity is a natural effect of all Marxist based politics, the industrial revolution joined with democracy is the most hated aspect of successful nations where the hard left is concerned as it nullifies their claims of unfair practices of governments that are elected by the people for the people.

      The infiltration of the Royal Society by CAGW globalists is seen as a great victory over its role in advancing science and technology that has brought us to this time, men like Sir Isaac Newton are now portrayed as great thinkers that didn’t think far enough into the future by people that will never understand the true basics of the methods that were defined.


      • #
        Leonard Lane

        Yonniestone. Thank you for that comment. The penetration of American government, schools and universities, society, culture, and, of course science is alarming. To Marxists everything is war. No friendship over politics, no compromise on anything, and if denied what they seek then there are demonstrations, riots, assaults, beatings, and on and on. It is no accident that Occupy Wall Street (OWS) emerged before Obama’s second term, in the 2016 election it was Black Lives Matter (BLM). Recall how OWS rapidly died right after Obama was reelected, how BLM arose during the Clinton – Trump election, and is now fading fast. Obama has emerged now to begin building the next election’s shock troops.
        Perhaps the worst part of the 2008 and 2012 elections is that radical leftists burrowed into every federal agency they selected for capture (it is war).
        USDA has great power over welfare programs (such as Food Stamps) and the vast majority of USDA’s budget goes for welfare. It is a ripe plum for picking.
        Also, USDA has significant roles in pesticide and fertilizer trials, crop improvements, water quality and soil erosion on private lands, and so on. USDA also plays a role in increasing/opposing illegal immigration.
        The Obama believers (including global warming, crops without pesticides, anti-fertilizer, anti-farm mechanization, anti-genetic improvements for crops and livestock, and on and on) can cause havoc in research, environmental programs, any other thing that slows improvements, lowers CO2, and increases regulations and control.
        The USDA is always seen as of lesser importance than DOD, DOE, State, EPA, NASA, NOAA, and other agencies for “draining the swamp”. But, I believe President Trump will get to USDA eventually.
        Finally, don’t be surprised by chicanery in USDA and other agencies until their turns come for “draining”.


      • #
        Jerry L Krause

        Hi Yonniestone,

        You finished your comment: “by people that will never understand the true basics of the methods that were defined.”

        I consider one should ask: How is it they (and we) do not know the true basics of the methods that were defined?

        I believe there is an clear answer to this question. It was written by Henry Crew and Alfonso de Salvio in 1914 in their preface to their English translation of Galileo’s Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences.

        For they began: “For more than a century English speaking students have been placed in the anomalous position of hearing Galileo constantly referred to as the founder of modern physical science, without having any chance to read, in their own language, what Galileo himself has to say.”

        In my case I began my university education as a chemistry major and then followed it with 6 years of graduate school and three years a post-doc. Then, I was a chemistry instructor at a 2-year college for twenty plus years. And only near the end of this teaching career did I find a copy of Crew and de Salvio’s translation and begin to read it. And, of course, I never made it an assignment for my chemistry students to read even the portion of it that directly applies to the science of chemistry. For, if one knows about alchemy, one can see that Galileo was familiar with the knowledge of the alchemist of his time about which Crew and de Salvio did not in 1914.

        So, I would modify your conclusion by stating: people will never understand the true basics of the methods that were defined until they actually read what Galileo himself had to say. So I propose there is a solution. Begin science education where modern physical science began.

        I recently discovered a 1840 biography titled The Martyrs of Science by David Brewster. It is about the lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Johannes (John) Kepler. And I find that it is mainly astronomers who might recognize the names of the latter two men and know what their trials and scientific accomplishments were despite the trials which all three faced.

        However, as I write this, I do not really expect that it will be read by many because the post and your comment is nearly a week old and therefore ancient history.

        Have a good day, Jerry


    • #

      James Hansen has a lot to answer for.


  • #
    Roy Hogue

    …possibly because of political considerations.

    That’s the understatement of the year. The EPA, FDA and USDA are the three organizations most influenced by politics. They have targets on their back continually. For the USDA, just think about the causes that can gain or lose if the the result of research can be swayed away from objective science.

    In these days of everything to do with agriculture getting a complaint from someone the incentive to mess with the data or conclusions based on that data is immense.


  • #

    Mega-agencies are founded for a purpose then, over time, they become the purpose. Retiring or changing individuals doesn’t help. As Philippe de Villiers said of the EU, politicians and commissars work constantly with lobbyists, see lobbyist after lobbyist, socialise and recreate with lobbyists…and then become lobbyists in turn. The mega-agency is not limited to its political class and commissariat: there is a vast ex-commissariat which knows the game inside out, stays in the game and forms the tentacles of the monster.

    Limiting the life and scale of unelected, incestuous mega-agencies will be a huge challenge for the next century. Eat them before they eat us.


  • #

    10% is such a high proportion it should warrant a full scale and detailed investigation to find the culprits and put them behind bars. You can imagine what would happen if one day we all woke up to find 10% of people’s bank accounts were fiddled with and money was removed without their consent. If nothing was done to stop it the banking system would collapse in one day. How come the scientific community isn’t yelling for action? Fear? I call them cowards and traitors to their profession. They no longer should be called scientists – they are no better than politicians.


  • #

    “And this is only agriculture. You might think it would be tame.”

    Not at all. Think about the huge amounts of money at stake in (dis-)approving pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers, and GMOs.


  • #
    Jerry L Krause

    Hi Doubters,

    I am one of you but I am critical of you because I cannot find you trying to right the ship of corrupted science. This blog about USDA provides an opportunity to call attention to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service SCAN (Soil Climate Analysis Network) project which has been measuring soil temperatures, soil moisture, solar radiation, and other meteorological data at many USA sites (presently about 218) for more than two decades. And I have found no published attempts of any one who has attempted to use this data to better understand the earth’s radiation system and the climate which results. NOAA has been observing 6 different radiations for more the two decades in their SURFRAD (surface radiation) project at seven sites. Again, I have found no one trying to use this data to better understand the earth-atmosphere climatic system. Yes, I understand that just because I have not found someone doing so, it does not mean that no one has. But if so, I would like to be so informed.

    I have tried but I am a bit behind the times and do not even know how I might directly contact JO NOVA to discuss what I might have to consider about these two very, very, scientifically sound project to accurately measure such fundamentals as temperature and radiation.

    So, this comment is a cry for help. Let’s do science instead of complaining about what others are not doing or are doing wrongly.

    Have a good day, Jerry
    [Jerry, thanks. This is interesting. I’ll send you an email.] Jo


  • #

    Remember when the Minister requested a review by BoM management after a complaint was lodged pointing out that climate change media releases did not match BoM historic date records? And when the Minister reported to Cabinet, after BoM management acknowledged that “errors & omissions” had been discovered during their review, and Prime Minister Abbott recommended that an independent audit be carried out at the BoM (due diligence)?

    Apparently a majority of Cabinet Ministers voted against taking this action.

    And later a majority of Cabinet Ministers voted for Tony Abbott to be replaced by Malcolm Turnbull.


  • #

    When the Berlin Wall fell, everyone thought that Communism/Socialism was over. All it appears to have done is unleashed Socialism throughout the world. The Berlin Wall now appears like it was some form of containment facility, where the West/Left could direct their attention/hopes, while it festered behind the wall. Maybe the fall of the wall wasn’t such a good idea afterall.


  • #

    There is nothing wrong with neonicotinoids, but they are still being banned by the EU.

    Bees die from other reasons.


  • #

    Given the anti-science mindset of the previous regime and the current marchers, I am not surprised. Saddened, yes. Surprised no.


  • #

    where have I gone wrong , where have I slpped up , can you cope with and alternative opinion