The Corruption of Science: What They Won’t Tell You!

from Stefan Molyneux

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Question: “I am a 24-year-old graduate student in medicinal chemistry/chemical biology. I had been admitted to various different schools and had multiple offers from individual labs upon finishing my undergrad degree. I eventually made the best decision I could have with the information that had been made available at the time and I picked a specific medicinal chemistry/chemical biology lab that seemed to have copious amounts of both money and publications. The reason I chose this lab was that it seemed to be the best place to propel my career forward despite it being 5,000km away from my home, family, and friends.“

“As I was gearing up for the long and grueling five years that were to come, I saw the lab I had chosen for what it really was. The reason this particular lab had so much money and fame was because he was forging his results. And presented these erroneous results to both private and public funding organizations in an attempt to gather more money for himself. Worse still, when graduate students, post docs, or lab techs brought the non-consistent data to his attention, he simply would brush them off and tell them to hide the information.”

“It even got so bad that the professor fired a couple of post-docs and graduate students because he thought they weren’t going along with his manipulated data. This professor is more concerned in being the rock-star of the university and the celebrity of the city than he is in being an honest scientist in the pursuit of truth. Sadly, I think this attitude is pervasive in the minds of many of my colleagues. I think this is so because our society has a tendency to view scientists as the new “priests” and science as the new ‘God,’ as you have so precisely pointed out.”

“In short, I have two questions that I was hoping you’d help me answer. Firstly, how can I as an individual up-and-coming scientist help prevent the forging and manipulation of data from happening within the scientific community (particularly in my field: medicinal chemistry/chemical biology). And secondly, how can I play a part in “de-priestifying” scientists and help bring this careerism, which can often end up with a lot of innocent people suffering, to a halt?”

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