Science Gone Stupid • Watts Up With That?

Guest post by David Middleton

This is perhaps the dumbest article I’ve ever read…

How to avoid the stigma of a retracted paper? Don’t call it a retraction

AMSTERDAM—In 2012 Richard Mann, a mathematician at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, received some very bad news from a friend and colleague. Because of a coding error, the friend explained, Mann had included only 1/100 of his data in a modeling paper on the collective motion of glass prawns, published earlier that year in PLOS Computational Biology. As a result, the paper was deeply flawed.

Mann wanted to set the record straight, but as he began researching his options, despair set in. Retractions are strongly associated with research misconduct. “I became worried about public shaming,” Mann said last week at the fifth World Conference on Research Integrity here. He went ahead, but only after many sleepless nights.

His story and others like it have inspired two recent attempts to develop new terms for retractions that would make it easier for researchers, universities, and journals to admit errors. One would retire the dreaded r-word altogether. “You have to change the language,” says Nicholas Steneck, who heads the Research Ethics and Integrity Program of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research in Ann Arbor.



Correct me if I’m wrong, but scientists’ feelings aren’t supposed to be part of the scientific method.

As if this wasn’t stupid enough, I received this truly idiotic email from the AAAS while I was reading the aforementioned stupid AAAS article…

Another blow to the planet

It happened: President Trump decided to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord.

This streak of anti-science actions from the current administration is worrisome. The EPA has already sustained harsh staff cuts, and the threat of devastating funding cuts looms over the NOAA, NIH, and Department of Energy.

It’s up to us, as science advocates, to do everything we can to fight crippling cuts to these organizations, and to support research that can save our communities and our planet. As an AAAS member, you will help us continue to protect the advancement of science and give policymakers the tools they need to make evidenced-based decisions. Become an AAAS member today because together we are a stronger force for science.

Every AAAS membership supports our efforts to:

• Educate Congress about the importance of science funding,

• Convene scientific societies in opposition to funding cuts, and

• Rally fellow AAAS members to represent pro-science ideals in the media.

Join today and become a force for science. We can’t lose momentum and we urgently need your support to continue this important work.

For science,

American Association for the Advancement of Science

P.S. Explore one of the many benefits of AAAS membership: Download a digital copy of the newest issue of the journal Science now.

*Offer valid from May 31, 2017 to June 30, 2017, for new individual members only. There is a limit of one water bottle per membership order. Please allow up to four weeks for domestic delivery and up to five weeks for international delivery. The AAAS water bottle is provided as is without any guarantees or warranty and cannot be exchanged or returned. In association with the product, AAAS makes no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Words literally do fail me…


When Science becomes concerned about scientists’ feelings and political agendas, it ceases to be science.

I actually have a copy of this book…


Science Made Stupid: How to Discomprehend the World Around Us is a 1985 book written and illustrated by Tom Weller. The winner of the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book, it is a parody of a junior high or high school-level science textbook. Though now out of print, high-resolution scans are available online, as well as an abridged transcription, both of which have been endorsed by Weller [1]. Highlights of the book include a satirical account of the creationism vs. evolution debate and Weller’s drawings of fictional prehistoric animals (e.g., the duck-billed mastodon.)


The AAAS just topped Mr. Weller’s book twice in one morning.

Deja un comentario