Thursday, November 08, 2007

Memory Hole (4 November): What happened this day

Scientific Misconduct Blog Memory Hole: Events of November 4th

hat tip

19 years ago today: If you won't supply raw data we won't publish

This is about the status of raw data (Hat Tip - Al Higgins). On this day, 4 November 1988, the Editor of the journal Cell (Benjamin Lewin) stated that it is the policy of Cell that if authors are unwilling to share raw data, they should not publish (in Cell or presumably anywhere).

It is hard to know why anyone honest would disagree. Presumably we agree that a large part of the research published by the pharmaceutical industry should not be published either, and is not science in the conventional sense.

What made Lewin's statement odd was that Cell had published the infamous paper by Baltimore, et. al. in 1986. When asked by concerned scientists to supply the raw data, Baltimore et al., refused.

Bowledge, Tabitha M. "Getting Serious About Fraud and Misconduct," AAAS Observer, Science supplement (4 November 1988), pp. 1ff.

19 years ago today: The Phillip Berger case

On 4 November 1988 it was reported that a Stanford Inquiry had cast doubt on 11 papers. Very prominent scientist Phillip Berger was involved. He had resigned in May 1987.

Stanford had earlier been criticized for sham internal procedure, delay, secrecy and attempts to minimize the problem. More to follow.

"Stanford Inquiry Casts Doubt on 11 Papers," Science 242, 4 Nov 1988

9 years ago today: Chris Chapman died

On 4 November 1998 Dr Chris Chapman, a biochemist in Leeds (UK) died at age 56 after drawing attention to serious research fraud and financial misconduct at Leeds University. The persistent but failed internal attempts at whitewashing had taken their toll. He was also dismissed (one day before he could legally receive an employer's pension).
See: Earlier post

1 years ago today: Angry whistleblowing doctor fired

I have included this mainly for the quotation. On this day, 4 November 2006 a news report discussed the plight of "whistleblower" Dr Phillip O'Dowd who had dared to discuss financial fraud involving the CEO of a US hospital. He was fired. The CEO (Robert Urcuioli) was later convicted of fraud.

In the article O'Dowd relates that the cited reason for his firing was "anger-management problems". Asked whether he had anger issues, he said:

'I did have anger-management problems. I was very angry at the management.'

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