And as such, they have motivations far more extensive and complicated than simply “the search for the truth”.

Wired.com has a fun article on “the worst” scientific missteps and misdeeds of 2012. Lots of lying, cheating, and fraud.

Here’s my favorite – in part because it’s something that I write about regularly here and write about in Evolve:

In late November, three investigative panels issued the final report in the saga of admitted fraudster Diederik Stapel, a social psychologist formerly on faculty at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. In 2011, Stapel admitted to fabricating data; so far, his imaginative handiwork extends to 55 science papers and book chapters, as well as 10 graduate dissertations. The panel’s report not only cites Stapel for bad behavior, but takes a shot at the entire field of social psychology.

As Science reports, the panel paints “an image of a “sloppy” research culture,” and a field whose experts practice flawed science. Indeed, a section of the report titled, “Failure of scientific criticism” says, “Virtually nothing of all the impossibilities, peculiarities and sloppiness mentioned in this report was observed by all these local, national and international members of the field, and no suspicion of fraud whatsoever arose.”

It is classic concept destruction to call something “science” which is in fact completely anti-science. So many concepts bandied about today are used destructively: capitalism, science, democracy, fairness.

And because I haven’t linked to this in a long time, here is my favorite “essay” on the failure of the social sciences to do anything resembling science; Feynman’s CalTech address.

-JD Cross

 

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