Tag Archives: Research integrity

Bill introduced to keep the USEPA HONEST

Is science always self-correcting? Not necessarily so…..but be careful

I found this discussion of the difficulty of peer-review catching scientific misconduct to be very interesting. (Click here….)

We must be careful here. Arguing that some one has falsified data or has behaved in a way that constitutes “misconduct” presumes there is some type of “universal standard” of scientific behavior. While groups of scientists may agree on certain things being “right behavior” in science, such universal agreement on what is “right” is elusive. Data does not interpret itself. It requires an interpreter, and that interpreter will have presuppositions and fundamental assumptions that will bias their perspective. I have a bias and so do you….Does that mean a paper representing different perspective should not be published if I or some self-appointed scientific police do not agree with the methods, data, interpretation, or consequences of the study? When does this effort cross the line of suppression of scientific inquiry and free speech?

Would this mean that no study could be published unless it expicitly represented a purely “naturalistic” evolutionism worldview to the exclusion of any alterntive? I see no reason to prevent data or studies from being published, even those that I do not agree with, as long as the opportunity is given to discuss or rebut a study in the published literature. We sort out the good science from the not so good by using evidence, data, and scientific reasoning….not by intimidation or censorship.

Are we seeing in this effort the undergound “new atheists” out to police the scientific literature so that no other perspective could ever be considered science? Just wondering. But I would not be surprised….

University of California (UC) system corrupted by political activism

This is a very important study that highlights a very pervasive problem in academia. The results of this study are no surprise to me……The findings of the California Association of Scholars study include the following.

  • There has been a sharp increase in faculty members who self-identify as radicals. “One party” academic departments are common. At Berkeley, left-of-center faculty members outnumber their right-of-center colleagues in Political Science by a ratio of 28:2, in English 29:1 and in History 31:1.
  • Many curricula promote political activism, in violation of UC regulations.
  • Some departments attempt to erase the study of Western tradition. History majors are now not required to take a survey course in Western civilization on any of the nine University of California campuses.
  • Four UC campuses have dropped their American History requirements. UC students cannot answer basic questions about American or World History.
  • Suppression of free speech is commonplace.
  • Radical and left-of-center UC professors favor hiring like-minded new academics and block the hiring of new professors who don’t “think the right way.”
  • The advancement of “social justice” is now the open aim of a number of UC faculty members and even whole departments in the system. Student asking questions or writing answers or papers that challenge these professors and their radical assumptions can expect a poor grade.
  • The UC curriculum has been gutted because too many professors now show an open preference for promoting a partisan political agenda.

This study basically says that the UC system is academically broken…..and this is not just a problem in California universities. To the degree that political acitivism affects the credibility of the research conducted at these campuses, do not believe their research results or public statements without further investigation of the data and independent confirmation of the results.

Click here or the image below for the full study.