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To me the most valuable parts of the book are those exposing the details of investigations and the politics of fraud. In my experience the general public is not aware of how science actually works, but rather embraces an idealistic, naive picture of science as a self-correcting system that reveals "truth" about the world. In reality, this is true about science inasmuch as it is true that politicians make decisions that are in the best interest of the general public.
My experience as a scientist is also that scientific community does not discuss fundamental problems of fraud openly, if at all, but leaves it to young scientists to learn it the hard way that science nowadays is not very different from politics or show business. Cherry-picking the data that fit your needs in a highly competitive environment has become a standard that only a few can afford to violate, and faking the data is not that rare either.
This book is therefore a valuable document for both the general public and young people considering science as a career. Much of the criticism I see in the reviews boils down to staring at the finger when someone is pointing to the Moon. The book raises important questions by documenting the workings of modern science, and these questions should not be ignored.
I really wanted to read about fraud in science. It is an important topic, which should interest most of us, not least those who research. And, there are interesting stories told here indeed, and much to think about. I especially enjoyed reading about the Baltimore case. And, I can think of many reasons to discuss the potential problem with current science funding and system for academic recognition. Personally I find that this book has plenty enough of information to deserve more stars than some reviewers give it here at Amazon.
However, I too found that the book lost energy after a while, the same arguments were repeated, the analysis seemed a bit thin, but the pages long.
Fraud in science is interesting stuff, and I was a little sad to admit to myself I was getting bored. Please someone, follow-up with a deeply researched and detailed account of later cases, and dare to discuss more the motives of fraud.
Judson has done an excellent job in exposing intellectual fraud in general ,as well as concentrating specifically on the attempt by David Baltimore to cover up the extremely shoddy,error filled work of a colleage,Imanishi-Kari.Baltimore had agreed to put his name on a paper that he had not read carefully,if at all. Margot O'Toole exposed the paper,showing that it was riddled with errors.Baltimore engaged in an attempted coverup ,believing that his great reputation,based on his being a Nobel Prize winner with a number of accomplishments ,would serve to sidetrack any call for the retraction of the paper.An excellent summary of this scientific fiasco is given on p.242 by Judson when he cites the final judgment of another Nobelist,the late Howard Temin:" David's misconduct was-When an experiment is challenged no matter who it is challenged by it's your responsibility to check...When you publish something you are responsible for it.And one of the great strengths of American science...is that even the most senior professor,if challenged by the lowliest technician or graduate student,is required to treat them seriously...It is one of the most fundamental aspects of science in America".
In fact,what Temin is stating is not just the most fundamental aspect of American science.Transparency,the requirement that results be checked and rechecked before the publication of an article in a scientific journal,is the most fundamental aspect of science.Error correction is a necessary condition for any field to be called "scientific ".Fields or disciplines that do not prevent or correct error filled articles from being published or that do not retract such articles once they are exposed ,like most social sciences,economics and psychology in particular,are not considered hard science.
I would have given this no stars if it were an option.
The first 20 pages of this book bored and insulted me. Judson drones on about every fraud known to mankind, but only occasionally scientific fraud. He seems to hope that if we hear enough examples of fraud in the world, we will get fired up and join him in a lynching.
His tone is condescending and assumes that you already agree with him. This is not the type of academician that you could hope to have a meaningful conversation with. He laces his information with references to "the epidemic" of fraud and nobody being "immune" to it, as if by the weight of these descriptive terms you will be swept into his inevitably correct conclusions. I suspect that Judson would have presented a more objective book if he had more worthwhile information to offer.
Judson is an academic manque who wrote an interesting if overly pretentious and self-agrandizing history of molecular biology. Unfortunately this book, which, as Judson states early on, could not find a publisher, would have been better left unpublished. This desultory history of scientific fraud simply rehearses what has been better said elswhere. The standard fraud cases - from Newton to Pasteur to Freud to Darsee to Baltimore - are given a superficial treatment. Especially egregious is the hatchet job on Baltimore and Imanashi-Kari. Anyone wanting to find out how shoddy and partisan his treatment of the later affair is ought to read the thoughtful and well researched "The Baltimore Case" by Daniel Kevles. Since Judson seems to regard himself as a purveyor of scientific ethics in a time of lapsing moral values in the scientific enterprise, one can only hope that the scientific community can protect themselves from such scrutiny. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.
The great betrayal Fraud in science (PDF Download Available)
a stimulating and thoughtful book for read-. ers interested in science, publication ethics,. and research misconduct. He writes with. his typical flair, drawing on interviews with. famous scientists. His premise is that scru-. tiny of the nature of fraud and other mis-. conduct will reach to the pulse of what the. sciences are an d what ...
: The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science ...
Horace Freeland Judson, author of The Eighth Day of Creation, eloquently examines the nature and causes of scientific fraud in The Great Betrayal. Although the process of science has built-in checks and balances such as peer review and paper refereeing, Judson calls these "moribund" and asks "whether in fact and to ...
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Fraud permeates all types of institutions today and now the world of science, the last bastion of respect and trust, is no exception. Dozens of cases have been uncovered in the past quarter-century-and the headlines continue. We can no longer shrug off fraud in science as the work of aberrant individual scientists, Horace.
The great betrayal : fraud in science / Horace Freeland Judson ...
Available in the National Library of Australia collection. Author: Judson, Horace Freeland; Format: Book; xiv, 463 p. ; 24 cm.
The great betrayal Fraud in science - NCBI - NIH
1 Feb 2005 ... Horace Judson's new historical commentary, The great betrayal: fraud in science, is a stimulating and thoughtful book for readers interested in science, publication ethics, and research misconduct. He writes with his typical flair, drawing on interviews with famous scientists. His premise is that scrutiny of the ...
The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science - Wikipedia
The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science is a 2004 book by Horace Freeland Judson. The book explains that science as a discipline is not immune to fraud, and the book surveys many cases where scientific misconduct by aberrant scientists has threatened the reliability and foundations of the scientific process.
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