Paul’s Perambulations

November 13, 2010

When science follows the money, you lose objectivity and thus have no science.

Filed under: Education,Politics — admin @ 10:38 pm

“Sponsorship almost invariably predicts the results of research. David Ludwig and his colleagues demonstrated this phenomenon in studies of the effects of soft drinks on childhood obesity. Independent studies almost invariably find an association between habitual consumption of soft drinks and obesity. By contrast, industry-sponsored studies almost never do.”

“There is an intellectual conflict of interest that pressures researchers to find whatever it is that is most likely to get them funded. Perhaps only a minority of researchers were succumbing to this bias, but their distorted findings were having an outsize effect on published research…Other meta-research experts have confirmed that similar issues distort research in all fields of science.”

”Last year, corn-seed researchers…wrote to the EPA to protest industry-university agreements that severely restrict their ability to do research on genetically modified seed crops. “These agreements inhibit public scientists from pursuing their mandated role on behalf of the public good unless the research is approved by industry,” wrote the scientists, who chose to withhold their names mostly for fear of retaliation from the seed industry.”

These quotes are from the AAUP journal Academe http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/ and 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/8269/

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