Science has once again decided to make excuses for scientific fraud.
The first link is describes Science’s willingness in 2011 to excuse the illegal effort of Phil Jones and Michael Mann to delete emails in the climategate scandal. The second link is Science’s effort today to protect another scientist, social scientist Dirk Smeesters, who — as described in the third link — was forced to resign from his university and retract two papers after being caught fudging data to produce the results he wanted.
This quote below however — from the Science article itself — should have been all a scientific peer-reviewed journal like Science should have needed to know:
Smeesters repeated in the interview what he told the university: That he only engaged in so-called data massaging, a “large grey area” in his field, and that the raw data for some of his experiments were lost when his home computer crashed. Paper records for the studies, he added, also disappeared when he moved his office. [emphasis mine]
A scientist who admits that he fiddled with his raw data to get the results he wants, and then admits losing that raw data so that no one can check him deserves no defense ever from the scientific community. That Science is willing to make such a defense is further evidence that something is really rotten in the established upper echelons of American science.
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