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Thread: Motives to fudge experimental data

  1. #1 Motives to fudge experimental data 
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    Motives to fudge experimental data

    I have read accusations that scientist are not always honest; that they produce reports to impress bosses, for example, in tobaco laboratories, drug companies, etc. In such institutions scientists “have a strong motive to fudge data;” they are payed to please. Commenting to this I wrote:

    This observation calls for a clarification of the concept "scientist." Most often this term is used to describe a person preoccupied with an investigation in the physical world. Perhaps this is too broad. I suggest the following definition: "a scientist is a person who is not only preoccupied with physical matters but is also trustworthy." By "trustworthy" I mean "does not hide anything."

    Here is one real situation. A claim was made, about a year ago, that a desirable energy-producing device was invented in Italy. About a mounth ago a prototype was actually demonstrated at Bolognia University.

    Heat was generated as hydrogen gas was flowing through a niclel powder mixed with a catalyst. The inventor, Andrea Rossi, did not answer the question about the nature of the catalyst. One of my colleagues was present at the demonstration, standing next to it. He brought a portable instrument able to analyze nuclear radiation escaping from the device. But the demonstrator did not allow him to turn the instrument on. Because of this, I no longer think that Rossi is a scientist.

    http://pesn.com/2011/01/19/9501747_c..._breakthrough/

    How would secrecy be justified by him? He would probably refer to undesirable competition, and to possible future difficulties with patenting the device. This is understandable. Secrecy is OK, but only up to the time at which the invention is publicly announced. A true scientist would not prevent my colleague from turning the instrument on; a true scientist would provide information about the chemical composition of the powder. Rossi certainly knows what is expected from a scientist. But he also needs money from potential investors. The demo at the university was probably designed to impress them. Ethically standards in business are not the saame as in science.[/u]


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  3. #2  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Scientists are humans first. Your choice not to call this person a scientist is misguided, and based on non-realistic idealizations. They still do science, and hence are scientists, despite the fact that their behavior doesn't fit your ideal.


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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Scientists are humans first. Your choice not to call this person a scientist is misguided, and based on non-realistic idealizations. They still do science, and hence are scientists, despite the fact that their behavior doesn't fit your ideal.
    You are not the only one who takes Rossi's claim seriously. I hope you are right.

    References:
    1) A. Rossi, http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com
    2) A. Rossi, Journal of Nuclear Physics http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com/?p=62
    3) F. Celani, New Energy Times, http://newenergytimes.com/v2/news/20...f-celani.shtml
    4) H. Mills, http://pesn.com/2011/03/07/9501782_C...st_University/
    5) M. Macy, http://pesn.com/2011/01/19/9501747_c..._breakthrough/
    6) M. Lewan, http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/energ...cle3108242.ece
    7) J. Rothwell, http://www.lenr-canr.org/News.htm
    8) M. Levan, http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/energ...cle3144827.ece
    9) A. Rossi, http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physic...p=338#more-338
    10) A. Rossi, http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com/?p=62&cpage=2
    11) S. Chubb. INFINITE ENERGY • ISSUE 96 • MARCH/APRIL 2011
    http://www.infinite-energy.com/image.../IE96Rossi.pdf
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  5. #4  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Scientists are humans first. Your choice not to call this person a scientist is misguided, and based on non-realistic idealizations. They still do science, and hence are scientists, despite the fact that their behavior doesn't fit your ideal.
    You are not the only one who takes Rossi's claim seriously.
    Wait, who is Rossi? Do I care?
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  6. #5  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    I see, so basically this is a thread about something that everyone knows- that some scientists falsify data- with the spin that this explains why nobody has replicated Andrea Rossi's work on cold fusion. It's considerably more likely that when nobody can replicate a piece of work, it's because it doesn't actually work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    I see, so basically this is a thread about something that everyone knows- that some scientists falsify data- with the spin that this explains why nobody has replicated Andrea Rossi's work on cold fusion. It's considerably more likely that when nobody can replicate a piece of work, it's because it doesn't actually work.
    Someone sent me this link today:

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-...ion-video.html

    Ludwik
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil
    Someone sent me this link today:
    .
    I've just been discussing this practice in another thread. If you post links, please give an executive summary of what the link is about and what its conclusions are. This will encourage people to look at the link and is more polite.

    This is my personal view of how things should be done and does not match to forum practice, wherein (In)sanity - the site owner - is just as slipshod as you. So, you can either ignore my request, confident that your approach is condoned, or you can make life easier and more pleasant for other forum members.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil
    Someone sent me this link today:
    .
    I've just been discussing this practice in another thread. If you post links, please give an executive summary of what the link is about and what its conclusions are. This will encourage people to look at the link and is more polite.

    This is my personal view of how things should be done and does not match to forum practice, wherein (In)sanity - the site owner - is just as slipshod as you. So, you can either ignore my request, confident that your approach is condoned, or you can make life easier and more pleasant for other forum members.
    I agree with you. A short summary would be helpful. Here it is:

    The link I sent you, shows a discussion of Rossi's claims. Some people write that it is a scam, others are hopeful. What do I think? This is described in a scientific note I wrote and submitted about a month ago. It was at once rejected by editors of two prestigious journals (not by their referees) and I am waiting for a reply from the third one. In that paper I show (numerically) why Rossi's claims conflict with basic nuclear physic (I am a nuclear physics). But this does not prevent me to conclude that such speculations would be irrelevant if Rossi's claims were confirmed by others. We would have to modify what we know about nature. That is how science operate; no one claim that our theories are eternal.

    Reports submitted by Cold Fusion researchers (many of them are recognized Ph.D. scientists) are usually rejected without sending them to referees). This is a sign of sickness. A person who was good enough to work, for several decades, in a national laboratory should not be treated in this way. Rossi, by the way, is not a scientist, he is an engineer and an inventor. I would be very surprised to see his major claim, conversion of nickel into copper, to be confirmed.

    Ludwik
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  10. #9  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil
    ]Reports submitted by Cold Fusion researchers (many of them are recognized Ph.D. scientists) are usually rejected without sending them to referees.
    This is an argument from authority. If a piece of research is convincing, it doesn't need a Ph.D to make anyone sit up and pay attention. If it's garbage, a Ph.D should add exactly nothing to its credibility. I personally know a great many Ph.Ds. Some of them are bright, and some of them are certifiable idiots.

    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil
    A person who was good enough to work, for several decades, in a national laboratory should not be treated in this way.
    Why not? If I work in a state lab for fifty years and then claim the moon is made of cheese, why should a community of rational empiricists treat that claim with anything less than the same contempt that would be shown a rank amateur? If the physics community think Rossi's arguments are untenable, then his past record is totally irrelevant. Bad science is bad science, no matter who is presenting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil
    Rossi, by the way, is not a scientist, he is an engineer and an inventor.
    Funnily enough, so are most of the people who make the grandest claims regarding cold fusion, perpetual motion, overunity, thermodynamics and relativity.
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