When Fraud Taints Science

By Simson L. Garfinkel. Simson L. Garfinkel is a freelance writer who specializes . | The Christian Science Monitor, July 15, 1992 | Go to article overview

When Fraud Taints Science


Simson L. Garfinkel. Simson L. Garfinkel is a freelance writer who specializes ., The Christian Science Monitor


IMPURE SCIENCE: FRAUD, COMPROMISE AND POLITICAL INFLUENCE IN SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH. By Robert Bell, John Wiley & Sons, 301 pp., $23

CALIFORNIA'S twin temblors in late June were a pointed reminder that the state bears a greater risk from earthquakes than any other. To meet that risk, California has developed one of the most respected crop of earthquake scientists in the world.

It therefore came as a surprise to many in California's scientific community when the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $25 million grant to create the national Earthquake Engineering Research Center not at one of the many prestigious research universities in California, but at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The decision was all the more surprising considering SUNY-Buffalo's proposal: Rather than concentrate on the impact of earthquakes in the Western part of the country, focus on earthquake damage in the Eastern United States, which is far less costly to the federal government. And acknowledging that it lacked the expertise, SUNY proposed to recruit the top names in earthquake research - many, one would suppose, from California itself!

The NSF Earthquake Engineering Research Center is but one of many cases explored in detail by Robert Bell in "Impure Science." In this book, which is sure to be loathed by the old-guard scientific establishment, Bell shows time and again how the supposedly "objective" scientific-research process is subverted by ego, infighting, and the lure of cold cash.

Bell opens his well-researched account with a stunning attack on the scientific community's sacrosanct system of "peer review," which he says often means "review by one's competition" in today's highly competitive world of scientific research.

Scientists use peer review for everything from deciding which grants to approve to choosing which articles get published in the prestigious journals. But all too often, writes Bell, peer review simply becomes a process by which powerful, well-established scientists can reward their friends and frustrate their rivals.

The review panels are often kept secret or restricted for apparently political reasons, he writes. In the case of the national earthquake center, for example, the peer-review panel was curiously without any earthquake engineering experts from states west of the Rockies. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

When Fraud Taints Science
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.