Methodology

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Methodology

There’s an interesting article in the Telegraph by Eugenie Samuel Reich looking back at the curious case of Jan Hendrik Schön. In the late ’90s and early ’00s, the Bell Labs physicist was producing a string of impressive discoveries — most of which, it turns out, were fabrications. Reich (who has published a book about…

At White Coat Underground, PalMD considers an article from the Journal of Medical Ethics. The article (L. Johnson, R. B. Stricker, “Attorney General forces Infectious Diseases Society of America to redo Lyme guidelines due to flawed development process,” Journal of Medical Ethics 2009; 35: 283-288. doi:10.1136/jme.2008.026526) is behind a paywall, but Pal was kind enough…

In the wake of some recent deaths in Edmonton of teenagers who took Ecstasy, DrugMonkey gets irritated with a doctor who made some proclamation to the press:

By email, following on the heels of my post about the Merck-commissioned, Elsevier-published fake journal Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, a reader asked whether the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JPandS) also counts as a fake journal. I have the distinct impression that folks around these parts do not hold JPandS in…

One arena in which members of the public seem to understand their interest in good and unbiased scientific research is drug testing. Yet a significant portion of the research on new drugs and their use in treating patients is funded by drug manufacturers — parties that have an interest in more than just generating objective…

Some commenters on my last post seem to be of the view that it is perfectly fine for scientists to pull numbers out of thin air to bolster their claims, at least under some circumstances. I think it’s a fair question to ask: In which circumstances are you comfortable giving scientists the go-ahead to make…

When scientists make claims with numbers they have clearly pulled out of thin air. For example:

Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logic. by Frederick Grinnell Oxford University Press 2009 Scientists are not usually shy when it comes to voicing their frustration about the public’s understanding of how science works, or about the deficits in that understanding. Some lay this at the feet of an educational…

Orac takes issue with a pair of posts I wrote yesterday about the National Center on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). I gather he thinks I’ve been far too trusting as far as the information provided on the NCCAM website, and that I’m misrepresenting the issues the critics of NCCAM have with the center. If…

Anesthesiology and addiction.

There’s an interesting story on The New Republic website at the moment, “Going Under” by Jason Zengerle, that relates the sad story of a young anesthesiologist’s descent into addiction. What I find interesting about it is the larger questions it raises about why this particular anesthesiologist’s story is not so unusual. Indeed, the article offers…