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How Common Is Scientific Misconduct? 253

Hugh Pickens writes "The image of scientists as objective seekers of truth is periodically jeopardized by the discovery of a major scientific fraud. Recent scandals like Hwang Woo-Suk's fake stem-cell lines or Jan Hendrik Schön's duplicated graphs showed how easy it can be for a scientist to publish fabricated data in the most prestigious journals. Daniele Fanelli has an interesting paper on PLoS ONE where she performs a meta-analysis synthesizing previous surveys to determine the frequency with which scientists fabricate and falsify data, or commit other forms of scientific misconduct. A pooled, weighted average of 1.97% of scientists admitted to having fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once — a serious form of misconduct by any standard — and up to 33.7% admitted other questionable research practices. In surveys asking about the behavior of colleagues, admission rates were 14.12% for falsification, and up to 72% for other questionable research practices. Misconduct was reported more frequently by medical/pharmacological researchers than others. 'Considering that these surveys ask sensitive questions and have other limitations, it appears likely that this is a conservative estimate of the true prevalence of scientific misconduct,' writes Fanelli. 'It is likely that, if on average 2% of scientists admit to have falsified research at least once and up to 34% admit other questionable research practices, the actual frequencies of misconduct could be higher than this.'"

Tetris Creator Claims FOSS Destroys the Market 686

alx5000 writes "In an interview conducted last week with Consumer Eroski (link in Spanish; Google translation), the father of Tetris Alexey Pajitnov claimed that 'Free Software should have never existed,' since it 'destroys the market' by bringing down companies that create wealth and prosperity. When asked about Red Hat or Oracle's support-oriented model, he called them 'a minority,' and also criticized Stallman's ideas as 'belonging to the past' where there were no software 'business possibilities.'"

A fanatic is a person who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill