More Evidence of Scientists Behaving Badly

Eric Felten, in the Weekend Wall Street Journal this week, adds to the list of malfeasants outlined in my piece Politics in Science. Besides pointing out some of the more egregious Climategate examples he adds:

  • Dr. Scott S. Reuben of the  Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA  – a respected anesthesiologist and researcher in pain medications, who had fabricated results in up to 21 articles to  in order to secure grants from pharamaceutical companies.
  • Cello Energy of Alabama, a company revealed to have dressed up plain old fossil fuels and biodiesel.  For their efforts, a federal jury in Alabama found that investors in Cello Energy had been defrauded of $10.4 m and awarded against the company.
  • In England, Lancet, the country’s premiere medical journal ( and recently the purveyor of the nonsense that Palestinian wife beating was brought on by the indignities of the Israeli occupation), retracted its support for an article which, twelve years ago  had linked vaccines and the advent of autism in young children, resulting in thousands of deaths of young children from diseases such as whooping cough which had disappeared in the late 19th Century.
  • Also  in England, two prominent stem cell researchers went public with their accusations against their discipline’s peer review process claiming that ” flawed and unoriginal work get published, while publication of truly original findings are either delayed or rejected.”

Eight weeks ago, in the Los Angeles Times, columnist Tim Rutten in the wake of the Climategate scandal,  asked the absurdly naive question,

“What are we to believe: that huge numbers of British and American scientists have entered into a conspiracy to dupe the world on climate change? Why? What would they stand to gain?”

Well, Tim, try money, power and fame.  They seem to be sufficient enough inducements for other human beings to commence a descent into corruption.  Or are scientists beyond the reach of human avarice?  A question to ponder as the veil is increasingly lifted on other scientists behaving badly.


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