Increased Competition Drives Falsified Research


A ten-fold rise in retractions of scientific (in particular biomedical) papers over the past decade reflects a massive increase in competition for scarce funding and jobs, according to the New York Times this week. The increase is attributable, the article says, to both misconduct and scientific mistakes arising from an increasingly dysfunctional endeavor that is comparable to “a pyramid scheme.” Counterpunch points out that much falsified research, including high-profile papers on Seroquel and Neurontin, go unretracted even when authors have gone to prison or studies have turned out to be ghostwritten by industry operatives.

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Related Items:
Research efficiency: Perverse incentives (Nature)
Why Are These Fraudulent Papers Unretracted? (Counterpunch)


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].