Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for May 19th, 2012

Antitruth, Inc. How corporations corrupt science.

Posted by Charles II on May 19, 2012

Update: I want to bring the following sentence in the report linked below to attention:

The Obama administration has taken meaningful steps to address political interference in science.

I am not an Obama booster, but I think it’s important to keep some perspective. This sentence would not have been written about President McCain or, especially, Presi..gak Romney.
Francesca Grifo, Michael Halpern, and Peter Hansel, UCS:

Corrupting the Science

Corporations that stand to lose from the results of independent scientific inquiry have gone to great lengths to manipulate and control science and scientists by:

Terminating and suppressing research. Companies have controlled the dissemination of scientific information by ending or withholding results of research that they sponsor that would threaten their bottom line.

Intimidating or coercing scientists. Corporations bury scientific information by harassing scientists and their institutions into silence. Scientists have been threatened with litigation and the loss of their jobs, have had their research defunded, have been refused promotion or tenure, and have been transferred to non-research positions, leading to self-censorship and changes in research direction.

Manipulating study designs and research protocols. Corporations have employed flawed methodologies in testing and research—such as by changing the questions scientists are asking—that are biased toward predetermined results.

Ghostwriting scientific articles. Corporations corrupt the integrity of scientific journals by planting ghostwritten articles about their products.
Rather than submitting articles directly, companies\ recruit scientists or contract with research organizations to publish articles that obscure the
sponsors’ involvement.

Publication bias. Corporations selectively publish positive results while underreporting negative results. While not directly corrupting science itself, these publishing and reporting biases skew the body of evidence.

To be fair, individual scientists do some skunky things, too. If a guy has a pet theory, he’s not likely to immediately publish results that contradict it. He’s more likely to ask for new experiments.

But of course, this is the difference between street crime and organized crime. Street criminals are a nuisance, but easily controlled at the local level. Organized crime has to be confronted with an organized response.

We need corporate science. Those guys study things that would otherwise never be studied, and they enrich science immeasurably–when the science is honest. The real problem is dishonesty, it permeates American society, it proliferates at the corporate level only because workers have limited career choices, and because there’s not much solidarity between scientists. Scientific careers flourish or wither based not on collaboration, but on destructive competition. So government oversight is not the entire answer. But it’s a very important component.

Posted in abuse of power, capitalism as cancer, corporatists, corruption, science and medicine, when government is a good thing | Comments Off on Antitruth, Inc. How corporations corrupt science.

Mary Kiffmeyer: Lies And Fuzzy Handcuffs Good, Purple Heart Winners Bad

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 19, 2012

When last we saw Mary Kiffmeyer, the fastidious moral scold of voter suppression and “Jesus at the Closing Table” infamy, she and her fellow voter suppressors over at Minnesota Majority were embracing the rather sleazy figure of James O’Keefe.

Not content with showing her true colors in this fashion, she now has decided that viciously and stupidly attacking a veteran who left a large part of himself overseas in the course of serving his country is somehow the right thing to do:

People sometimes say politics is war, but retiring Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, could tell you from experience that the two are very different.

Kriesel, 30, lost both of his legs in Iraq in 2006. He was later awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star. So it’s no surprise he was pissed off when Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, sent him an e-mail saying he has “no courage.”

Sure, warfare and politics are two different contexts, but could Kiffmeyer have possibly chosen more inappropriate words to make her point?

The flashpoint of this was apparently Kriesel’s backing of the Vikings stadium bill, though Kiffmeyer seems to have disliked Kriesel for a very long time.

This is beyond partisanship, folks. Like Kiffmeyer, I too opposed the stadium bill, but never in a million years would I have attacked a supporter of it in this way.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Mary Kiffmeyer: Lies And Fuzzy Handcuffs Good, Purple Heart Winners Bad

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