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Comment: Re:what conflict? (Score 1) 448

by superwiz (#49184847) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests
Sorry, "others agree with me" is not a counterargument. You haven't addressed any of the actual concerns. In fact, claiming that what's popular is ethical only validates the concern that demanding to know who sponsored the research creates an impetus for quashing legitimate lines of scientific inquiry. This should be a grave concern not only for the pedantic reason such as a wish for a purity of scientific process. As you are probably aware, quashing inquiry into medical efficacy of a certain naturally-occurring substance has resulted in the US having the highest incarceration rate in the world. Injecting mob-mentality-biased weights into choices of scientific lines of inquiry is very, very dangerous.

Comment: Re:what conflict? (Score 1) 448

Actually, it's an interesting test on its own. It may have accidentally exposed a bias in editorial choices. In fact, if the journals do put any weight on source of funding of the research, can they claim to be "peer-reviewed"?

It would mean that they only give partial consideration based on the peer reviews and give some of consideration's weight to a source of funding.

Further, a case can be made that any journal that requires that all sources of funding be disclosed and yet does not make this requirement clear to its subscribers (and still maintains that it is a "peer-reviewed" publication) is a journal that is committing fraud. By making disclosure of the sourcing of funding a requirement, it makes it part of a pre-screening for review. So it gives some however-justifiable or however-little weight to a consideration which has nothing to do with peers' view on validity of the research.

Comment: Re:what conflict? (Score 1) 448

This:

Research should be considered on its merit.

is not being naive because of the very sentence that follows it:

The assumption should be made that there are vested interests on both sides of any controversial scientific issue and the source of funding should not be considered as a data point in evaluating the legitimacy of research

Comment: hmm (Score 1) 340

by superwiz (#49155307) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.
If a technological change in our way of life can release the carbon, then why does everyone insist that there is not technological change which can reduce the carbon? And I don't mean stop the release through alternative energy sources. I mean reduce. Mind you, I am not accepting or denying the premise of AGW. I am asking a different question.

Comment: Re:what conflict? (Score 1) 448

by superwiz (#49120517) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests

Actually, I think an even stronger statement can be made. I think it is unethical of the journals to require revealing sources of funding before publication. Some scientific inquiry (such as this, for example) may pose undue burden on its sponsors. Requiring that sponsorship be revealed inhibits free scientific inquiry. Consider another hypothetical example: an illicit narcotics distributor may want to sponsor research into the long-term medical effects of some legal drug use vs illegal drug use. If a researcher is required to reveal taking money from such a source of funding, he cannot do so without damaging his reputation. But this prevents honest scientific look at a medically pertinent question because it prevents any kind of funding from being given to qualified researchers who may want to investigate such a question.

In fact, the researchers should be required to reveal their data much more so than they should be required to reveal their source of funding. But this is a requirement that most journals do not have.

Research should be considered on its merit. The assumption should be made that there are vested interests on both sides of any controversial scientific issue and the source of funding should not be considered as a data point in evaluating the legitimacy of research

Comment: Re:what conflict? (Score 1) 448

by superwiz (#49120409) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests
I'd say it's an indication of interest rather than a conflict of interest. The money is not contingent on the results of the findings. The fact that sponsors have an agenda is not news. Generally, disclosing the source of funding is an expression of gratitude rather than an ethical requirement. If the donors wish to remain anonymous, they should have that prerogative. They are only sponsoring scientific research, after all.

Comment: bad summary. (Score 0) 448

by superwiz (#49103461) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests
How does this:

At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure,

square off with this:

The Koch Brothers are cited as a source of Dr. Soon's funding.

Oh, and btw, citing the source of research funding is generally considered a form of thanking the source for the funding rather than a necessary disclosure.

Comment: what conflict? (Score 2) 448

by superwiz (#49103429) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests
Receiving money to conduct research is conflict of interest if the funds come from parties with vested interest in findings' results? 1.2 million over a decade is hardly a "fortune". It's on par with grants received by any small-size lab. In fact, probably much less. If he is quoted as often as the summary claims, he should be receiving at least 5 times as much in government funding.

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