Corruption in Science News StoriesExcerpts of Key Corruption in Science News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of corruption in science news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
More than half of Dutch scientists regularly engage in questionable research practices, such as hiding flaws in their research design or selectively citing literature, according to a new study. And one in 12 admitted to committing a more serious form of research misconduct within the past 3 years: the fabrication or falsification of research results. This rate of 8% for outright fraud was more than double that reported in previous studies. Organizers of the Dutch National Survey on Research Integrity, the largest of its kind to date, took special precautions to guarantee the anonymity of respondents for these sensitive questions, says Gowri Gopalakrishna, the survey's leader and an epidemiologist at Amsterdam University Medical Center (AUMC). "That method increases the honesty of the answers," she says. The survey found Ph.D. students had the hardest time meeting the standards of responsible research. Some 53% of them admitted to frequently engaging in one of the 11 questionable research behaviors within the past 3 years, compared to 49% of associate and full professors. To look for possible explanations of participants' behavior, the study team also asked about their professional experiences–whether they felt workplace pressure or peer pressure, for instance. The team found that pressure to publish was most strongly correlated with questionable research behavior, and that perceptions of the chance of being caught by peer reviewers was the biggest factor in inhibiting misconduct.
Note: A former editor of The Lancet has suggested that up to half of all scientific literature may be untrue. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science from reliable major media sources.
US data on influenza deaths are a mess. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges a difference between flu death and flu associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably. There are significant statistical incompatibilities between official estimates and national vital statistics data. Compounding these problems is a marketing of fear - a CDC communications strategy in which medical experts "predict dire outcomes" during flu seasons. The CDC website states what has become commonly accepted and widely reported in the lay and scientific press: annually "about 36,000 [Americans] die from flu" and "influenza/pneumonia" is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. But why are flu and pneumonia bundled together? David Rosenthal, director of Harvard University Health Services, said, "People don't necessarily die, per se, of the [flu] virus. What they die of is a secondary pneumonia. So many of these pneumonias are not viral pneumonias but secondary [pneumonias]." In a written statement, CDC media relations responded to the diverse statistics: "Typically, influenza causes death when the infection leads to severe medical complications." Most such cases "are never tested for virus infection. The CDC uses indirect modelling methods to estimate the number of deaths associated with influenza." Thus the much publicized figure of 36,000 is ... an estimate generated by a model.
Dr Fauci has been the face of the nation's Covid-19 response. But emails have raised questions on whether he backed Chinese denials of the theory that Covid-19 leaked from a lab. A trove of Dr Fauci's emails covering the onset of the coronavirus outbreak were released this week to media under a freedom of information request. Chinese authorities linked early Covid-19 cases to a seafood market in Wuhan. But recent US media reports have suggested growing evidence the virus could instead have emerged from a lab in Wuhan, perhaps through an accidental leak. The NIH, which is a US public health agency, gave $600,000 (Ĺ425,000) to the Wuhan Institute of Virology from 2014-19 via a grant to the New York-based non-profit group EcoHealth Alliance, for the purpose of researching bat coronaviruses. Peter Daszak, head of EcoHealth Alliance, emailed Dr Fauci in April 2020, praising him as "brave" for seeking to debunk the lab leak theory. Department of State officials ... were told not to explore claims about gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab to avoid attracting unwelcome attention to US government funding of such research. Gain-of-function studies involve altering pathogens to make them more transmissible in order to learn more about how they might mutate. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that three employees at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill and were admitted to hospital in November 2019, just before the first reported Covid-19 cases.
Note: Read lots more important information on this not covered in the BBC article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency - a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. The UK's pandemic response provides at least four examples of suppression of science or scientists. First, the membership, research, and deliberations of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were initially secret until a press leak forced transparency. The leak revealed inappropriate involvement of government advisers in SAGE. Next, a Public Health England report on covid-19 and inequalities ... was delayed by England's Department of Health. Third, on 15 October, the editor of the Lancet complained that an author of a research paper, a UK government scientist, was blocked by the government from speaking to media because of a "difficult political landscape." Now, a new example concerns the controversy over point-of-care antibody testing for covid-19. Research published this week by The BMJ ... finds that the government procured an antibody test that in real world tests falls well short of performance claims made by its manufacturers. Researchers from Public Health England and collaborating institutions sensibly pushed to publish their study findings before the government committed to buying a million of these tests but were blocked by the health department and the prime minister's office.
It was a faustian bargain–and it certainly made editors at National Public Radio squirm. The deal was this: NPR, along with a select group of media outlets, would get a briefing about an upcoming announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a day before anyone else. But in exchange for the scoop, NPR would have to abandon its reportorial independence. The FDA would dictate whom NPR's reporter could and couldn't interview. This kind of deal offered by the FDA - known as a close-hold embargo - is an increasingly important tool used by scientific and government agencies to control the behavior of the science press. We only know about the FDA deal because of a wayward sentence inserted by an editor at the New York Times. But for that breach of secrecy, nobody outside the small clique of government officials and trusted reporters would have known that the journalists covering the agency had given up their right to do independent reporting. The two-tiered system of outsiders and insiders that undergirds the close-hold policy is also still enforced. Major press outlets such as Scientific American and Agence France-Presse have written to the FDA to complain about being excluded but have not received any satisfaction from the agency.
A small group of scientists and others who believe the novel coronavirus that spawned the pandemic could have originated from a lab leak or accident is calling for an inquiry independent of the World Health Organization's team of independent experts sent to China last month. Officials with the W.H.O. have said in recent interviews that it was "extremely unlikely" but not impossible that the spread of the virus was linked to some lab accident. The open letter ... lists what the signers see as flaws in the joint W.H.O.-China inquiry. The letter emphasized that the team was denied access to some records and did not investigate laboratories in China. Dr. David A. Relman, a professor of medicine and microbiology at Stanford University [said] "the W.H.O. investigation appears to be biased, skewed, and insufficient." Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University and one of the scientists who signed the letter, said it grew out of a series of online discussions among scientists, policy experts and others who came to be known informally as the Paris group. Many of those who signed the letter were based in France and Dr. Ebright, who has been outspoken about the need to investigate a possible laboratory leak, said such discussion had been less vigorous in the United States. He said that no one in the group thought that the virus had been intentionally created as a weapon, but they were all convinced that an origin in a lab through research or by accidental infection was as likely as a spillover occurring in nature from animals to humans.
Note: Read more about the controversial "gain-of-function" research that took place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
A group of Harvard scientists plans to tackle climate change through geoengineering by blocking out the sun. The concept of artificially reflecting sunlight has been around for decades, yet this will be the first real attempt at controlling Earth's temperature through solar engineering. The project, called Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx), will spend $3 million to test their models by launching a steerable balloon in the southwest US 20 kilometers into the stratosphere. Once the balloon is in place, it will release small particles of calcium carbonate. As scientists, governmental agencies around the world, and environmental groups grow increasingly worried of our collective ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb climate change, the idea of geoengineering a solution has become more accepted. The ultimate goal is to reduce the warming on Earth. This can be done by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, sucking CO2 from the atmosphere, or limiting the sunlight that reaches Earth's surface. Blocking out sunlight has been controversial in the scientific community. The controversy lies in the inability to fully understand the consequences of partially blocking out sunlight. There remain questions around this method's impact on precipitation patterns, the ozone, and crop yields globally. With funding in part by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the Harvard team will begin to answer the remaining questions.
Note: What is being proposed here is clearly a form of chemtrails. Thankfully, the first scheduled tests of this geoengineering technique have been canceled. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on climate change from reliable major media sources.
More than six years after the FBI crime laboratory was rocked by controversy, the Justice Department has identified about 3,000 criminal cases that could have been affected by flawed science and skewed testimony. Government officials told The Associated Press they are aware of between 100 and 150 cases in which prosecutors have alerted defendants of problems they concluded were material to verdicts. None has resulted in overturned convictions, they said. The identification of cases and prosecutorial reviews are the final stages of a scandal that shook the FBI during the mid-1990s when a senior chemist at the famed crime lab went public with allegations of shoddy work, tainted evidence and skewed testimony. A Justice Department internal investigation concluded in 1997 that 13 lab technicians made scientific errors in cases or slanted testimony to help prosecutors. Several were reprimanded, but none was fired or prosecuted. Some criminal defense lawyers are concerned by the Justice Department's decision to let federal, state and local prosecutors decide whether to notify defendants of problems. "That's like asking the fox to guard the hen house," said former federal prosecutor Neal Sonnett. He is past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "If there is a possibility that evidence has been tainted, then the Department of Justice or prosecutors should not be the arbiter of whether it's material," Sonnett said.
Note: In 2015, the FBI admitted its scientists used flawed evidence for decades to help prosecutors wrongfully convict defendants. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, typically lives in the streams and ponds of sub-Saharan Africa. In January, researchers at the University of Vermont and Tufts University published a report that gave the amphibian a different lot in life. They harvested its embryonic skin and heart cells and reassembled the living matter into robotic devices – transforming Xenopus into xenobot. Xenobots are the first robots made completely of living materials. They're designed on a supercomputer running software that emulates natural selection: Algorithms determine possible effective tissue configurations for a xenobot to perform a specified task, such as moving through fluids or carrying a payload. The most promising designs are sculpted with tiny forceps and cauterizing irons, then set free in petri dishes, where the specks of amphibian flesh live for about a week before decomposing. There are no electronics involved. Behaviors are programmed entirely through the structural arrangement of the pulsating heart cells held in a matrix of rigid skin cells. Although xenobots can't yet do much more than crawl or swim, the researchers see great potential for them to aid in fields like medicine and environmental remediation. In the future, xenobots could be engineered to deliver drugs through the human body or to gather up microplastics in oceans, politely biodegrading when the job is done.
Note: Is humanity mature enough to be playing with life like this? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science from reliable major media sources.
It's not often that a place like Harvard Medical School gets an F – particularly when rivals Stanford, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania are pulling A's and B's. But that's what happened recently when the members of the increasingly influential – and increasingly noisy – American Medical Student Association (AMSA) decided to grade 150 med schools on just how much money and gifts they're collecting from drug companies. The more goodies a school is vacuuming up from the industry, the worse its grade. It turns out that many professors and instructors are, legally, on the dole as well, and students are beginning to worry that what they're being taught is just as one-sided as what patients are being prescribed. Harvard, at the moment, is at the center of it. Of Harvard's 8,900 professors and lecturers, 1,600 admit that either they or a family member have had some kind of business link to drug companies – sometimes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars – that could bias their teaching or research. Additionally, pharma contributed more than $11.5 million to the school last year for research and continuing-education classes. And while Harvard might be the highest-profile name that was posted on AMSA's grade list, it was hardly the only one that flunked: 40 out of the 150 schools surveyed received F's; only 22 got an A or B. Harvard has convened a 19-member committee ... to review its pharma policy, though the university is hedging on whether it actually plans to change the way it operates.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
The possibility of a super soldier is not so outlandish and one that not just China is interested in. Enhancement is nothing new - since ancient times, troops have been bolstered by advancements in weaponry, kit and training. But today, enhancement could mean much more than merely giving an individual soldier a better gun. It could mean altering the individual soldier. In 2017, Russia's President Vladimir Putin warned that humanity could soon create something "worse than a nuclear bomb". "One may imagine that a man can create a man with some given characteristics, not only theoretically but also practically. He can be a genius mathematician, a brilliant musician or a soldier, a man who can fight without fear, compassion, regret or pain." Last year, the former US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), John Ratcliffe, went further with a blunt accusation against China. "China has even conducted human testing on members of the People's Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities. There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing's pursuit of power," he wrote. Prof [Patrick] Lin said "a key challenge is that nearly all of this is dual-use research. For instance, exoskeleton research was first aimed at helping or curing people of medical conditions, such as to help paralysed patients walk again. But this therapeutic use can be easily weaponised. It's not obvious how to regulate it, without overly broad regulation that also frustrates therapeutic research."
Note: A New York Post article titled "France, China developing biologically engineered supersoldiers" describes how "France has joined the fray in creating terminator troops that can be 'bred to kill." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
In 2019, an Army laboratory at Fort Detrick that studies deadly infectious material like Ebola and smallpox was shut down for a period of time after a CDC inspection, with many projects being temporarily halted. ABC7 has received documents from the CDC outlining violations they discovered during a series of inspections that year, some of which were labeled "serious." Earlier that year, the US Army Medical Research Institute had announced an experiment at the Fort Detrick laboratory that would involve infecting rhesus macaque monkeys with active Ebola virus to test a cure they were developing. Several of the laboratory violations the CDC noted in 2019 concerned "non-human primates" infected with a "select agent", the identity of which is unknown – it was redacted in all received documents, because disclosing the identity and location of the agent would endanger public health or safety, the agency says. In addition to Ebola, the lab works with other deadly agents like anthrax and smallpox. Select agents are defined by the CDC as "biological agents and toxins that have been determined to have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, to animal and plant health, or to animal or plant products." The CDC notes that the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases had "systematically failed to ensure implementation of biosafety and containment procedures commensurate with the risks associated with working with select agents and toxins."
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency. Research published this week by The BMJ ... finds that the government procured an antibody test that in real world tests falls well short of performance claims made by its manufacturers. Researchers from Public Health England and collaborating institutions sensibly pushed to publish their study findings before the government committed to buying a million of these tests but were blocked by the health department and the prime minister's office. Public Health England then unsuccessfully attempted to block The BMJ's press release about the research paper. In the US, President Trump's government manipulated the Food and Drug Administration to hastily approve unproved drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir. Globally, people, policies, and procurement are being corrupted by political and commercial agendas. The UK's pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines. Government appointees are able to ignore or cherry pick science ... and indulge in anti-competitive practices that favour their own products and those of friends and associates.
Dr. Brooke Herndon, an internist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, could not stop coughing. Dr. Kathryn Kirkland, an infectious disease specialist at Dartmouth, had a chilling thought: Could she be seeing the start of a whooping cough epidemic? By late April, other health care workers at the hospital were coughing. It was the start of a bizarre episode at the medical center: the story of the epidemic that wasn’t. For months, nearly everyone involved thought the medical center had had a huge whooping cough outbreak, with extensive ramifications. Nearly 1,000 health care workers ... were given a preliminary test and furloughed from work until their results were in; 142 people, including Dr. Herndon, were told they appeared to have the disease; and thousands were given antibiotics and a vaccine for protection. The whole thing was a false alarm. Now, as they look back on the episode, epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists say the problem was that they placed too much faith in a quick and highly sensitive molecular test that led them astray. Such tests are coming into increasing use and may be the only way to get a quick answer in diagnosing diseases like whooping cough, Legionnaire’s, bird flu, tuberculosis and SARS. There are no good estimates of their error rates. But their very sensitivity makes false positives likely, and when hundreds or thousands of people are tested, as occurred at Dartmouth, false positives can make it seem like there is an epidemic.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
Imagine a world where wireless devices are as small as a grain of salt. These miniaturized devices have sensors, cameras and communication mechanisms to transmit the data they collect back to a base in order to process. Today, you no longer have to imagine it: microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), often called motes, are real and they very well could be coming to a neighborhood near you. With such a small size, these devices can stay suspended in an environment just like a particle of dust. They can: Collect data including acceleration, stress, pressure, humidity, sound and more from sensors; Process the data with what amounts to an onboard computer system; Store the data in memory; Wirelessly communicate the data to the cloud, a base or other MEMs. Since smart dust devices are miniature sensors they can record anything that they are programmed to record. Since they are so small, they are difficult to detect. Your imagination can run wild regarding the negative privacy implications when smart dust falls into the wrong hands. Once billions of smart dust devices are deployed over an area it would be difficult to retrieve or capture them if necessary. The volume of smart dust that could be engaged by a rogue individual, company or government to do harm would make it challenging for the authorities to control. Many of the applications for smart dust are still in the concept stage. We might not know when it will progress to the point of wide-scale adoption, but ... it’s a question of when rather than if.
Note: This takes privacy issues to an entirely new level. This AP article states the supermicro chips are "just 0.002 inches by 0.002 inches and look like bits of powder. They're thin enough to be embedded in a piece of paper." They are also small enough to slip into a vaccine unnoticed. And check out another Forbes article titled "Stratospheric Balloons Will Rain Tiny Electronic Spies From The Sky." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
As America begins the formidable task of getting our kids back to school and all of us back to work safely ... public health experts face two opponents: covid-19, but also political leaders and others attempting to undermine the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of this date, the CDC guidelines, which were designed to protect children, teachers, school staffers and their families — no matter the state and no matter the politics — have not been altered. It is not unusual for CDC guidelines to be changed or amended during a clearance process that moves through multiple agencies and the White House. But it is extraordinary for guidelines to be undermined after their release. Through last week, and into Monday, the [Trump] administration continued to cast public doubt on the agency’s recommendations and role in informing and guiding the nation’s pandemic response. On Sunday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos characterized the CDC guidelines as an impediment to reopening schools quickly rather than what they are: the path to doing so safely. The only valid reason to change released guidelines is new information and new science — not politics. Sound science is being challenged with partisan potshots, sowing confusion and mistrust. These efforts have even fueled a backlash against public health officials: Public servants have been harassed, threatened and forced to resign when we need them most.
Some 54 scientists have resigned or been fired as a result of an ongoing investigation by the National Institutes of Health into the failure of NIH grantees to disclose financial ties to foreign governments. For 93% of the 189 scientists whom NIH has investigated to date, China was the source of their undisclosed support. The new numbers come from Michael Lauer, NIH’s head of extramural research. Lauer had previously provided some information on the scope of NIH’s investigation, which had targeted 189 scientists at 87 institutions. But his presentation today to a senior advisory panel offered by far the most detailed breakout of an effort NIH launched in August 2018 that has roiled the U.S. biomedical community, and resulted in criminal charges against some prominent researchers, including Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University’s department of chemistry and chemical biology. In the vast majority of cases, Lauer reported, the person being investigated has been an Asian man in his 50s. Some three-quarters of those under investigation had active NIH grants, and nearly half had at least two grants. The 285 active grants totaled $164 million. Lauer also presented data on the nature of the violations that NIH has uncovered. Some 70% (133) of the researchers had failed to disclose to NIH the receipt of a foreign grant, and 54% had failed to disclose participation in a foreign talent program. In contrast, Lauer said, only 9% hid ties to a foreign company, and only 4% had an undisclosed foreign patent.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science from reliable major media sources.
Hundreds of articles in medical journals claiming to be written by academics or doctors have been penned by ghostwriters in the pay of drug companies, an Observer inquiry reveals. The journals, bibles of the profession, have huge influence on which drugs doctors prescribe and the treatment hospitals provide. But The Observer has uncovered evidence that many articles written by so-called independent academics may have been penned by writers working for agencies which receive huge sums from drug companies to plug their products. Estimates suggest that almost half of all articles published in journals are by ghostwriters. While doctors who have put their names to the papers can be paid handsomely for 'lending' their reputations, the ghostwriters remain hidden. In the United States a legal case brought against drug firm Pfizer turned up internal company documents showing that it employed a New York medical writing agency. One document analyses articles about the anti-depressant Zoloft. Some of the articles lacked only one thing: a doctor's name. In the margin the agency had put the initials TBD, which Healy assumes means 'to be determined'. Dr Richard Smith, editor of the British Journal of Medicine, admitted ghostwriting was a 'very big problem'. 'We are being hoodwinked by the drug companies. The articles come in with doctors' names on them and we often find some of them have little or no idea about what they have written,' he said.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science from reliable major media sources.
Louis Pasteur, one of the legendary figures in the history of science, lied about his research, stole ideas from a competitor and was deceitful in ways that would now be regarded as scientific misconduct if not fraud, according to a revisionist history published this month. "The Private Science of Louis Pasteur," by Dr. Gerald L. Geison of Princeton University, is based on an examination of Pasteur's 102 laboratory notebooks. Pasteur ... tried to reduce the virulence of microbes by exposing them to oxygen in order to make them suitable for vaccination. But in developing a vaccine against anthrax ... Pasteur adapted a method he had used a year earlier to produce a vaccine against chicken cholera. To head off competitors, Pasteur had purposely withheld reporting the simple method he used to prepare the chicken cholera vaccine. Pasteur impulsively accepted a public challenge to carry out the world's first public trial of any experimental vaccine. Pasteur's assistants injected his formula into 25 sheep, left another 25 unprotected and then injected all 50 with virulent anthrax bacteria. Only the vaccinated sheep survived. But, the notebooks show, Pasteur lied when he suggested publicly that his dramatically successful vaccine had been developed by exposing anthrax bacteria to oxygen. In fact he ... made his vaccine by secretly relying on a technique used by a rival, Jean-Joseph Toussaint. Eventually, Pasteur's oxygen method did produce an anthrax vaccine, but only after he had won a monopoly to produce the vaccine.
Note: For more on how scientific myths are perpetuated, see this fascinating article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science from reliable major media sources.
Remember the coronavirus? We were told by public health experts ... that we could not go outside for any reason. Roughly two weeks ago, everything changed. We all watched as mass stay-at-home orders and self-isolation gave way to massive street protests, where tens or hundreds of thousands of people gathered together in the U.S. and around the world. Virtually no prominent experts have denounced any of this on the ground that it will spread the coronavirus and ultimately kill more people. To the contrary, many infectious disease experts have done the exact opposite: they have endorsed and encouraged these mass street protests, claiming not that their support for them is grounded in their political values but in their health and scientific judgment. Perhaps the most egregious and illustrative example of the utter manipulation of public health science and expertise for nakedly political ends is found in the open letter that was originally crafted by epidemiologists at the University of Washington and then ultimately signed by 1,300 experts from around the country. These health experts ... decree that support for these protests is mandated as a matter of public health and scientific expertise, while imperiously insisting that other protests should still be scorned and prohibited. How is it remotely within the scope of the expertise of epidemiologists to pick and choose which political protests should be permitted and/or encouraged and which ones banned and/or denounced?
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.