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Researcher Jailed for Falsifying Research 195

Caldeso writes "For the first time in U.S. history, a researcher has received jail time for falsifying research data to obtain federal grants. Eric Poehlman pled guilty to defrauding the government to the tune of nearly 3 million dollars by changing and making up research and was sentenced to a year in a federal prison work camp and a lifetime ban on further federal grants."
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Researcher Jailed for Falsifying Research

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  • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) * on Saturday July 01, 2006 @12:20AM (#15641627) Homepage
    Does this apply to the CIA falsifying intelligence to secure a slice of the defence budget?
    • Or the SDIO rigging missile defence testing?
    • Does this apply to the CIA falsifying intelligence to secure a slice of the defence budget?

      Sure, but first you have to prove it.

      And no, linking to sites which claim that the moon landing was faked and that the US bombed Jupiter with anti-matter weapons doesn't count as "proof".
      • by m874t232 ( 973431 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @12:02PM (#15642827)
        The administration claimed that there was incontrovertible evidence of WMDs in Iraq, yet they didn't find any. So, it's clear that someone in the administration was either deeply incompetent or deliberately lying; either possibility is a liability for the administration.

        In any case, the burden of proof is not on the critics of the CIA, it's on the CIA and the administration; they have to prove to the public that they spent public money wisely and justifiably. We all can listen to their case and decide every four years at the ballot box whether to believe them.
        • There WAS damn good evidence of WMD's in Iraq. US intelligence sources weren't the only ones saying it - MANY other nations beleived the same thing. And justifiably so. We know for a fact that Saddam DID posses chemical and biological agents, and there was plenty of evidence indicating that he never destroyed them. Whereas there was absolutely zero evidence, other than his own word, that he HAD destroyed them.

          In any case, the burden of proof is not on the critics of the CIA, it's on the CIA and the
          • Sorry but your horribly wrong.

            UN inspectors = Could not find WMD that were not already accounted for and not deactivated. Demanded more time to inspect.

            As for the intelligence community most of them said that there no weapons of mass Destruction in Iraq, including the CIA who gave bush a report detailing it.

            There is a very good free documentry called "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About The Iraq War". Contains a whole range of famous and professionals in the area who detail that Bush was full of crap in regard
            • "UN inspectors = Could not find WMD that were not already accounted for and not deactivated. Demanded more time to inspect."

              What version of history have YOU been reading? From UN resolution 1441 [un.int]:

              "Recognizing the threat Iraq's non-compliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security"

              Sure sounds to me like they thought Iraq had WMD's.

              As for the intelligence community most of them said that there no weap

              • > Sure sounds to me like they thought Iraq had WMD's.

                You do know that UN resolution was written by USA and England. You also know that the US couldn't get the resolution through until they removed the part that detailed they could go to war if the resolution failed.

                > If you have any evidence at all to back your assertions, please, feel free to post it.

                I guess you didn't even watch the documentry? How about you watch that and refute what actual EXPERTS IN THAT FIELD said at that time.

                k.thx.bye.
                • "k.thx.bye."

                  Well, how could I ever hope to refute that argument. You've deffinitely convinced me!

                  I'm not going to watch your documentary because I can't access it through the firewall. And your comment on the UN resolution is both wrong and irrelevant to what we're discussing. Wrong in that it most certainly was not "written by USA and England", and irrelevant in that we weren't discussing the wording concerning going to war. The only important bit to the topic at hand is that resolution 1441 clearly sh
                  • >You've deffinitely convinced me!

                    I doubt anyone could convince you to be honest, but I'd prefer people actually saw the facts then actually believed some of the stuff you were spouting.

                    >Like I said, if you have any relevant info which backs up
                    > your statements, please feel free to link to it.
                    > Preferably not in video format.

                    I have already posted a link to an hour long documentry which has a large number of famous people in various government/Military departments of various countries that were di
    • Does this apply to the CIA falsifying intelligence to secure a slice of the defence budget?

      It wasn't the CIA. Cheney and Rumsfeld created an "intelligence" office in the pentagon to produce the answers they wanted to hear.

      The CIA intelligence seems to have been fairly good, with it only being dismissed/corrupted when it got to the highest levels.

      Cheney wanted information that linked Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein

      But they weren't getting that information from the CIA. And so he put pressure, I think, on

  • Fair pay... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NewToNix ( 668737 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @12:22AM (#15641629) Journal
    "a year in a federal prison work camp and a lifetime ban on further federal grants."

    I think I could tough that out for 3 million...

    • Re:Fair pay... (Score:4, Informative)

      by freemywrld ( 821105 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @12:39AM (#15641670) Homepage
      Its not 3 million that goes into their own pocket. While a 3 million dollar research budget is a nice chunk of change for a project, its not like it goes into the researcher's personal account or can be used for personal gain. Grant funds are closely watched as to what is charged to them. Illegitimate spending from grant money is another great way to lose funding.
      Besides, after getting caught, any remaining money left in that budget would be confiscated as well. Plus, this probably means the end of his career, especially considering he'll never eligable for future grants. NOT worth it IMHO (especially as someone who has spent time as a researcher).
      • Re:Fair pay... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by 3p1ph4ny ( 835701 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @01:52AM (#15641808) Homepage
        Grant funds are closely watched as to what is charged to them.

        Oh? At my local university, professors buy pc hardware for use around the office when their grant is about to run out. I know of one instance where nearly $10,000 was spent on laptops... who the hell needs 10 laptops for research, especially three days before the grant expires?

        Now, not to say that all grant money goes to waste (and, this was a $3.2 million grant, so it's not like it was a large percentage), but it could've paid for 1/100,000,000 of the budget for the new stealth bomber or whatever it is. I mean, come on!
        • Re:Fair pay... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cp.tar ( 871488 ) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:14AM (#15641842) Journal

          You have to spend all the money you were given.

          If you manage to save some, you won't get as much the next time, and next time you might not be able to save that much.

          • Re:Fair pay... (Score:2, Informative)

            by drjzzz ( 150299 )
            That's not the way it should work on US government grants, at least those awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The government will ask for the return of money that is not spent as quickly as planned. However, the grant recipient can request an extra 1-2 years to spend the money. This "no cost extension" is usually allowed if the money can be well spent in attaining the aims of the grant.
            • Yeah, well... if you have few tens of thousands to spend out of a several-million-sized grant just a few days before it runs out, will you return that money or will you spend it on computers & such?
        • How else are all those {student|personal|classified|confidental} records supposed to get out in the wild to be used for identity theft? If there's no laptop full of that info to be stolen, you're depriving some nice, dishonest, person of making a living.
        • That's really unusual. In my experience as a tech and later a grad student (biochemistry-related) it's a fairly standard deal that grant money can't be used for purchase of computer hardware unless it is an extremely specific item. For instance, we had to purchase a PC to run a fluorimeter we bought, and the fluorimeter and the PC were on the same bill purchased from the same company. If your lab needs to purchase new PCs for routine stuff like spreadsheets and word processing, you usually can only get t
    • by reporter ( 666905 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @01:43AM (#15641797) Homepage
      The key quote from the article states, " Poehlman, a specialist in exercise physiology, changed and made up research in applications and papers on the effect of menopause on women's metabolism, the impact of aging on older men and women, the impact of hormone replacement therapy on obesity in post-menopausal women, the study of metabolism in Alzheimer's patients and the effect of endurance training on metabolism. "

      Based solely on this quote, we can conclude that faking the results of medical research could potentially kill people. Faking research about a new method for vectorizing signal-processing algorithms might result in a poorly performing compiler for a multiprocessor. Faking research about a medical therapy might result in real people being subjected to a lethal cocktail of drugs.

      The doctor who faked the results of his medical research deserved prison time. For once, justice was served.

      • by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:08AM (#15641839) Homepage
        Well any fraudulent activity is bad enough, and IMO deserves such a punishment. It seems fair for what was done - enough, but not overkill. The fact that it was medical research that could put others' lives in danger makes it much worse, and it seems that he should have also been charged with some sort of gross negligence or reckless endangerment. If there was no grant involved, then I'd have thought the fraud charges were absured, and likewise the charges that weren't but could have been pressed would be insane in probably any other case. In short, I completely agree.
      • Actually I think it was the fraud, rather than faking results, that he got done for. I expect if he'd killed a couple of patients he'd have done time for that too.
      • Faking research in other fields can cause problems when people like the ones I'm working with decide to apply that research to medicine. Then we get false results, which can cause people to die indirectly.

        It's all linked. As the article said, a break in the chain can destroy the validity of everyone's results further down.
      • I disagree, to a degree. Don't let anyone off the hook because you presume the results of their falsifications won't have far-reaching consequences. It's a damn rare piece of research that doesn't have some application, somewhere, and there's no way to predict how something will ultimately be used. Using your example, if that defective signal-processing algorithm happened to end up in a jet liner's avionics package the results could be catastrophic. When you get right down to it, medical treatments have to
      • Poehlman, a specialist in exercise physiology, changed and made up research in applications and papers on the effect of menopause on women's metabolism,...

        I guess it is more like the soft and fluffy research about the benefit of exercising to various groups of people.
  • Funny thing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @12:27AM (#15641637) Journal
    This guy steals 3 million and gets a work camp. Martha Stewert was in volved in a .25 million insider trading and she gets 6 months.

    But Lay and a number of the very wealthy CEOs who stole BILLIONS will get 6 months to maybe several years at a very easy going federal prison. Amazing. It is all who you know.
    • Re:Funny thing (Score:5, Informative)

      by asifyoucare ( 302582 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @01:33AM (#15641781)
      This guy steals 3 million and gets a work camp. Martha Stewert was involved in a .25 million insider trading and she gets 6 months.

      Martha didn't go to jail for insider trading. She went to jail for obstruction of justice and conspiracy, and she was in fact sentenced to the minimum term allowable for her offenses.

      If she'd cooperated rather than lied, she would never have served time.
      • If she hadn't talked to the feds at all, she wouldn't even have been charged. That pesky 5th amendment...
      • Re:Funny thing (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "If she'd cooperated rather than lied, she would never have served time."

        If she had cooperated, she'd probably had faced even more jail time. Law enforcement isn't necessarily about getting to the truth, but to make a case against you, which makes anything you say "make be construed against you." That quote that goes something like give me six lines from anyone, and I'll find a reason to hang 'em.

        Most things come down to whether the law enforcement person "like you" or not, not the claims you make or are
    • Re:Funny thing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ohreally_factor ( 593551 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @01:39AM (#15641793) Journal
      But Lay and a number of the very wealthy CEOs who stole BILLIONS will get 6 months to maybe several years at a very easy going federal prison. Amazing. It is all who you know.

      Seeing as how neither Skilling nor Lay have yet to be sentenced, I'm presuming that you're getting your info from your palantir. What did The Eye tell you about revealing such info to mere mortals, hmmm?

      Either that, or you're completely ignorant and don't know what the hell you're talking about.
      • Seeing as how neither Skilling nor Lay have yet to be sentenced, I'm presuming that you're getting your info from your palantir. What did The Eye tell you about revealing such info to mere mortals, hmmm?

        Or you have a basic inability to read English. He said: "will get". He was predicting that billion-thief CEOs WILL GET 6 months based on past experience that this is what these guys typically get (they might get a sentance of several years, but suspended). So based on those past realities it's quite likely t
    • Re:Funny thing (Score:3, Informative)

      To be fair, if you view the purpose of the justice system to rehabilitate, a guy who mugs a 7-11 is probably a much tougher case for that than Martha Stewart.

      If you view it's purpose to offer proportionate punishment, then they should probably both do about the same time.

      If you view the purpose of the justice system as merely to deter crime, then the punishment divided by the probability of getting caught should be greater than the payoff (the 'equivalence' point).

      Personally, I'm a fan of rehabilitati

      • Personally, I'm a fan of rehabilitation, proportionate punishment, [i]and[/i] deterrence. In fact, the only reason I can conjur for any leniency at all is the possibility of innocent conviction. I just wanted to point out that the discrepancy in sentencing is not necessarily hyprocristy--it could simply constitute a different view on what the purpose of incarceration is.
        ------

        I'm more like this: rehabilitation vs deterrance. And my view of "rehabilitation" is very narrow. It's aligned with actual facts: som
    • There is no 1:1 relationship between the "damages" and the penalty.

      Among others, you can have two persons performing equal white collar crimes, resulting in wildly different damages.

      There are crimes more evil than other crimes which are more profitable. White collar crime is an example itself, as petty thieves who use or threaten with violence on the streets are punished harder.

    • In most of these research result fabrication cases, the grant money were wasted to further extend the empire of the greedy professor (hiring more postdocs, buying more equipment etc). The big and never satisified ego of some of the professors at the end drive them to do stupid things...

  • libelous summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by macklin01 ( 760841 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @12:29AM (#15641643) Homepage

    The slashdot summary is not only inaccurate, but libelous. By the article, he pleaded guilty to one $542,000 grant. So, he's only been found legally accountable for that amount, not the $2.9 million claimed by the prosecution:

    In an agreement with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty in connection with one $542,000 grant; the government said he defrauded federal agencies out of $2.9 million.

  • I don't get it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CherniyVolk ( 513591 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @12:30AM (#15641651)

    OK, let me get this straight.

    Defraud the government, with devious intent, for a tune of 3 million USD and receive a 1 year sentence in a work camp.

    Copy a movie and get fined up to 250,000 dollars and face upto a 10 year sentence? After, getting beaten up by people who dress like cops but aren't, in public?
    • Can you please tell me someone who's been sentenced to ten years for copying a film?
      • From www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf

        Section 1204 of DMCA has:

        First offense: up to $500,000 or five years imprisonment

        Second and subsequent offenses: up to $1,000,000 or ten years

        From what I can gather, this applies to commercial copying. Also, non-profit libraries, archives, and educational institutions are not subject to criminal sanctions.
      • Can you please tell me someone who's been sentenced to ten years for copying a film?

        The key to a successful police state is not to jail the entire population. This would be expensive and inefficient.
        You must be able to use discretionary enforcement and create the criminals as needed, thus keeping everyone in a state of constant fear.
  • by geerbox ( 855203 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @12:32AM (#15641658)

    An essay regarding the mentioned topic, and I thought it might be interesting to a few people. The are many non-technical paragraphs that draw to the author's conclusions, and those should be readable by all.

    http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv?request= get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124 [plosjournals.org]

    Summary:

    There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field.

    In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research.

    • by nucal ( 561664 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @01:34AM (#15641784)
      The Ioannidis article you cite has more to do with overinterpretation of statistical power in data analysis than outright falsification of data as in the Poehlman case. In particular, Ioannidis is actually critical of overinterpretation of results obtained from sample sizes that are too small or experimental designs that have too many degrees of freedom. In fact, the title of his study is an overinterpretation of the conclusions in the paper itself - which I'm sure he did on purpose to incite debate on the topic.

      This is well summarized in this response [doi.org] to the article, which has the added bonus of quoting "Mudd's Women" to support the argument.
    • I remember reading article by an MD researcher where he talked about all of the BS in the research world whether it be scientific and humanities. Basically, he made the point that when you get an MD and learn to research or when you get a PhD, part of what you learn is how to sift through the BS. He went on to say that many times, he will read a paper and know that the study is BS or that the power is too low to make any conclusions, but the points the paper makes may hold water and are worth exploring fu
    • A simple example:

      If you conduct 20 studies of a statistical relationship that each accept significance at the 5% level, then the probability is excellent (64%, actually) that at least one of them will show a positive result completely by chance.

      Since positive results tend to get published and negative results do not, too many studies of a hypothesis will likely show it to be true, completely spuriously.
  • by b17bmbr ( 608864 )
    when you have the gov't throw around billions like candy at halloween, why are we surprised that people will do this kind of stuff? when are we gonna figure out that most scientists are spouting some BS either for corporate or gov't money. yes, some are hard at work, but the real money is in getting others to fund your work. global warming? sure. nope. need money to tell you!! abortion harms women? sure. nope. need money to tell you!! but this is true of almost all the federal gov't does. the go
    • by Somnus ( 46089 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @01:54AM (#15641811)
      (IANAL)

      It should be noted that the power for the federal government to fund scientific research is granted under the accepted interpretation of the "general welfare" clause of Article I, Section 8 [cornell.edu] of the US Constitution [cornell.edu].

      This should be distinguished from pork [wikipedia.org], which by definition does not provide a "general" benefit.
    • when you have the gov't throw around billions like candy at halloween, why are we surprised that people will do this kind of stuff?

      There is a great deal of money involved, as you suggest, but these grants are not at all easy to get and involve a lengthy review process. The competition for them is very fierce. Unfortunately, as an academic researcher your career may depend on your ability to win awards that are denied close to 90% of the time on average. Hence the incentive to bend the truth or commit outrig
  • poor guy (Score:4, Funny)

    by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @12:55AM (#15641705)
    Poor guy. Obviously he forgot to credit the Flying Spaghetti Monster for his research findings.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01, 2006 @01:10AM (#15641733)
    With our present administration if you were falsifying data to prove creationism you might just get a medal.
    • Well, that's sort of what tipped them off. A recently-appointed federal oversight committee reviewed the bibliography he submitted of primary sources for his research, and found that he had many works cited besides the King James Bible. Knowing that the Bible is the only authentic scientific work published to date, they knew right away that the guy was committing fraud of some sort. It only took a little digging to come up with the details.
  • by CCFreak2K ( 930973 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @01:30AM (#15641771) Homepage Journal
    ...how many turns is this going to set me back? I don't have the resources to allocate my Military funding to Research, since I'm upgrading my units!
  • How did they catch him?
  • by KarMax ( 720996 ) <KarMax&gmail,com> on Saturday July 01, 2006 @01:38AM (#15641792) Homepage
    At first sight when i read:

    was sentenced to a year in a federal prison work camp and a lifetime ban on further federal grants.
    Think, that the sentence was "soft".
    Then i read the article, and start thinking...

    Poehlman will be permanently barred from getting more federal research grants, and was ordered to write letters of retraction and correction to several scientific journals.
    OK, I don't know him, but imagine the embarrassing situation of send retraction and correction letters to (in some way) HIS community.
    IMO In this kind of "criminal acts" the worst is just leave the guy in society.

    It's the society who really condemn him, think that every scientific guy will know that he is a fraud. Ok, maybe when he goes to the supermarket not everybody knows who is him, but he will be asking himself "Does he recognize me?".

    • Mod parent up... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheNoxx ( 412624 )
      I thought the same thing at first, that this was a soft sentence for the man in question... however, being barred from any federal grant ever is no laughing matter.

      That, and this kind of disgrace will more or less ruin his career. It doesn't matter whether he spends his life inside a jail cell or on the streets; everything he's ever worked for is gone, permanently. His life's work is now less than shit because he got too greedy... that's a hard pill to swallow. I mean, seriously, what's he going to do now?
  • String him up! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:01AM (#15641822)
    A scientist encroaching on the domain of politicians and business? For shame!!!
  • by SonicSpike ( 242293 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @02:24AM (#15641860) Homepage Journal
    Non-violent offenders such as this guy should not go to jail. They should be held accountable for their actions through financial restitution.

    "Nearly six out of every ten federal prison inmates are there for non-violent drug-related offenses, it's clear that drug prohibition is the primary source of this over-crowding. It has been estimated that every drug offender imprisoned results in the early release of one violent criminal, who then commits an average of 40 robberies, 7 assaults, 110 burglaries and 25 auto thefts

    We should dramatically reduce the number of these early releases by eliminating their root cause - prison over-crowding.

    Restitution, even if enforced through court action, deters criminals and decreases the necessity of actually going to court. Japan, which has such a system in place, is the only industrialized nation that has seen a consistent decrease in violent crime since World War II. Litigants normally come to a settlement before coming in front of the judge, so very little time is spent in court.

    Why should victims have to pay taxes to feed, clothe, and shelter those who harmed them? Why should criminals get a free ride at the further expense of their victims?

    People have a right to their life, liberty and property. Anyone who takes these away has an obligation to restore them as much as possible. Such restitution will not always be perfect, but the punishment fits the crime much better than today's system does.

    In addition, restitution is a more effective deterrent than prison. During informal surveys, inmates claimed that they much preferred jail time, which they saw as 'time off,' than restitution, which they saw as 'work.

    Restitution through productive work is the most successful rehabilitation known. Even if the victim can't be fully compensated, something is better than the nothing that they receive today. Also, repayment to the victim allows criminals to truly right their wrongs. "

    http://www.theadvocates.org/ruwart/categories_list .php [theadvocates.org]
    • Non-violent offenders such as this guy should not go to jail.

      Right. The Enron guys too.

      They should be held accountable for their actions through financial restitution.

      I'm sure this guy will just pull the $3 million out of his ass, now that he can't work in his main profession any longer. How much does McDonalds pay?

      It has been estimated that every drug offender imprisoned results in the early release of one violent criminal, who then commits an average of 40 robberies, 7 assaults, 110 burglaries and 25 au

    • Non-violent offenders such as this guy should not go to jail. They should be held accountable for their actions through financial restitution.

      No. They should be required for a specified time to be physically present for a variety of community help-type efforts and be forced to deal with the people they purported to be serving (i.e., not shareholders). And no taking Limos to/from the forced work zone, they have to integrate with those whose trust they abused. That might make a difference in the long run.
  • This guy had to fake data to get grants, which I assume means he had to make his data look like what the grantors expected. So if I do an experiment that shows post-menopausal weight gain is inevitable regardless of diet, exercise, or medication, I can expect to not ever get any more money from the feds, because I bear bad news? That's just hypothetical, btw. afaik older women have a bmi to die for.

    What does being a succesful grant writer entail? Interesting problems or past happy results?
    • You have to do quite a bit:
      • First of all, you need to have a solid scientific background on what you want to ask the funding for
      • If you are already working on this field, you have to present your previous results, with published data
      • You have to present a detailed plan of what you want to do, and the rationale for it, and possibly the deadlines for partial results
      • You also have to give reasons for using the money, including salaries and equipment

      Writing a *good* grant is not that easy. I don't live in

    • Thanks for the point,
      now lets talk about all that global warming research funded by the EPA?
    • This guy had to fake data to get grants, which I assume means he had to make his data look like what the grantors expected.

      Not really (well, except politically charged areas of research like recreational drug use, environment, and the heredity of human intelligence). Other things being equal (researcher's reputation, clinical relevance, novelty) what granting agencies look for are results that tell some kind of self-consistant story, whether it extends the prevailing consensus or overturns it. If it overtur
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Retraction was the Most Important Part.

    Bad research in some fields doesn't just waste time and resources and careers,
    Bad research can kill.

    There are enough honest mistakes and statistical glitches and wishful thinking
    without adding fraud to the mix.

  • There was a Slate article on hard labor [slate.com] recently. The context was military punishment, but maybe it's relevant? Maybe not. Either way, I think I'll go double check my grant proposals ...
  • I go to jail if I claim exotic tax writeoffs or claim 22 children and my goldfish as dependants om my 1040 tax form...why shouldnt they go to jail for claiming to have a "cure for all that ails 'ya"? As a tazpayer I love to see public money abusers thrown in prison...cow if only we could do the same to senators who build bridges to nowhere in Alaska...
  • by Caspian ( 99221 ) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @04:06AM (#15641955)
    One of the major arguments of a major subset of the anti-evolution/pro-Creationism school of thought (if it can be called that...) is that there is some sort of tippy-top secret conspiracy among scientists to keep their own cash flow going by producing evidence in favor of evolution. The consensus seems to be that scientists are all a bunch of godless atheists who are interested only in lining their own pockets-- that they lie and cheat and deny the "obvious fact" that an invisible man in the sky created the world 6,000 years ago in order to make money hand over fist.

    I GUARANTEE you that the instant one of the people who maintains one of the many creationist sites out there gets wind of this, this guy will get made into (anecdotal) evidence for the "fact" that all scientists are not to be trusted.

    *bashes head against wall*
    • So let's stop being so defensive about attacks on science and start demanding that the fundies prove their own questionable assertions. Along the lines of the Ansari X-Prize, I propose the Slashdot B-Prize, to encourage the proof of the various assertions in the Bible.

      First goal: Build a seaworthy ark of the dimensions cited in Genesis, populate it with two (or seven!) of every species currently on the planet (because the diversity of species can't be proven by evolution over less than six thousand year
    • Of course, any single scientist should not be trusted. However, when multiple scientists get the same results using the same methodology, then those results can be considered a bit more trustworthy.
  • He loses one year of his life in jail to get $3mil, of which he has been ordered to repay absolutely nothing, and will be living the next year without having to pay rent, buy his own food, pay his own utilities, and so on. I lose one year of my life to something like a jail and I earn about 5% of that, and from my own income I have to pay my own rent and my own bills. Gee, defrauding $3mil from the government (really from the taxpayers) is seeming more and more attractive by the minute.*


    *This comment
  • We have one of those [aftenposten.no] here in Norway as well...

    Massive lawsuits may now be in the offing, from various sources of funding, national and international, that have financed his forged findings for years.


    It will be interesting to see what he ends up getting from the judges...
  • Matthew Lesko unavailable for comment.

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