What’s new this week

It’s always good to get an email from Ed Yong — good, bad and interesting news on the science home front.  Try Edyong209@gmail.com to subscribe to his blog.

Retraction Watch (http://retractionwatch.com) has had some interesting posts this week: “A researcher at Tufts University has retracted a paper in Cell, a year after retracting a study on a similar subject from the Journal of Biological Chemistry” posted on 8/13 has elicited a flurry of comments.  The young investigator, Gizem Donmez, an Assistant Professor at Tufts (and quite gorgeous, does that help?) is the focus of this salvo.  And yesterday, their post ““Research misconduct accounts for a small percentage of total funding”: Study” has produced another flurry of comments including one from yours truly.  The consensus of the authors of the study seems to be that it ain’t so bad after all, although some of us may feel that any is too much and the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) which was the focus of the report only deals with the tip of the iceberg.

The journal Science came out today: of interest is an article by Jeffrey Mervis “Firing of Los Alamos researcher draws criticism”.  Seems James Doyle, a political scientist at the lab, wrote an article in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy in March of 2013 that disagreed with that institution’s (and the government’s) stand on nuclear deterrence.

And Jeff Weiner and Rene Stutzman report in our own Newark Star Ledger that Dr Shiping Bao has published an e-book about his role in the Trayvon Martin autopsy and trial of George Zimmerman.  Bao was fired shortly after the trial.  Apparently he changed his testimony and is quoted as saying “because I did not have good communication skills … and could not remember anything”.  Must have been a great medical examiner.  Dr Bao appears to have moved to Urbana, IL where he received 2.5 out of 5 stars from his patients (pathologist? patients?).  Ironically, the title of his book is “Dead Men Can’t Lie”.

Posted in ethical concerns, news item, possible fraud, retractions
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