Cutting corners and committing outright fraud -Jacqueline A.

While reading chapter 8, “A Broken Culture”, of the book Rigor Mortis, I discovered how the research on biomedical science has been completely corrupted throughout many years.

Many scientists would rather take the shortest route with less research in order to be the first person to publish research on a specific experiment that has not been done, or at least published. Rarely does a scientist take their time to develop their thoughts and observations and publish their discoveries whenever they want to. One of the few scientists that actually took the time on their research was Charles Darwin. What really surprised me about Darwin was that he actually took his time to develop his thoughts and actually enjoyed doing his research. “He didn’t start out with a coherent hypothesis: he was simply driven by curiosity.” (Pg.169) The fact that curiosity led this scientist to his discovery makes me happy because I think that being curious is a big characteristic you need to have to uncover the great things in this world. But Richard Harris also mentions that Arturo Casadevall tells him that “today’s science institutions would reject his approach”(Pg. 169)

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Scientists compete to be the first because they want their research and experiments to be recognized and even though they may not be completely right or finished, the people will not seem to notice unless further research is done.‘“If you think about the system for incentives now, it pays to be first,” Veronique Kiermer, executive editor of the Publishing Library of Science (PLOS) journals tol me.”(Pg.172) Scientist are funded for their research and if they “choose projects that are likely to succeed quickly over those that will provide bold deep insight”(Pg. 172) their funding for their projects will continue. Scientists definitely know that this is the wrong thing to do but funding for biomedical research has dropped and they will do whatever it takes to keep going even if it means straying from the good path of research and going into the bad one. I know that a lot of money is spent for biomedical research but if researcher’s had just enough money to completely and correctly finish their research and experiments there would not be a problem with scientists taking the wrong path on publishing wrong data.

“Outright fraud also creeps into science, just as any other human endeavor.” (Pg. 179) No scientist, obviously, will ever admit to committing a crime when research is done but it is a problem in the world of biomedicine and it must be stopped. When a scientist is caught with falsified data they are punished. Usually, they must be closely supervised and they do not receive federal grants for years. And some are foreign scientists who just vanish from the US. I hope that through the years the mistakes scientists have done vanish because I know that the biomedical world is tough and crazy but as we continue on into the future a change can be made.


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