Some policemen are venal; some judges take bribes and deliver verdicts accordingly; there are secret diabolists among men in holy orders and among vice-chancellors are many who believe that most students enjoying higher education would be better-off as gardeners or in the mines; moreover, some scientists fiddle their results or distort the truth for their own benefit.
None of these, though, is representative of his profession -- and only people young enough to be cynical believe them to be so. The number of dishonest scientists cannot, of course, be known, but even if they were common enough to justify scary talk of 'tips of icebergs' they have not been so numerous as to prevent science's having become the most successful enterprise (in terms of the fulfilment of declared ambitions) that human beings have ever engaged upon. The profession, sticking together (which is not such a bad thing to do), believes that cheating in science is a curious minor neurosis like cheating at patience -- something done to bolster up one's self-esteem. Rather than marvel at, and pull long faces about, the frauds in science that have been uncovered, we should perhaps marvel at the prevalence of, and the importance nowadays attached to, telling the truth -- which is something of an innovation in cultural history, if by the truth we mean correspondence with empirical reality. The authors of the more lurid travellers' tales would have been taken aback if someone had described them in modern vernacular as 'bloody liars', but so they were, many of them. They were telling stories, and wanted to tell good stories. Aristotle's conception of poetic truth was one in which correspondence with reality played little part,