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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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科学界の不祥事ふたたび

 


PBSニューズアワーで雑誌Scienceに掲載された論文が撤回されたニュースを取り上げていました。渦中の論文は以下のものです。

REPORT
When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality


問題の経緯など、以下の動画がわかりやすかったです。



同じような調査を実行しようとした研究グループが今回の論文に掲載されていた調査会社に問い合わせたところ、そんな調査は実施していないと回答されてしまったということから発覚したようです。

Science retracts gay marriage paper without agreement of lead author LaCour
By John Bohannon 28 May 2015 2:00 pm

The retraction comes after Retraction Watch broke the story on 20 May. The storm began brewing weeks earlier when David Broockman and Joshua Kalla, graduate students at UC Berkeley, together with Yale University researcher Peter Aronow, were unable to replicate some aspects of the Science study. It claimed to show that a relatively brief conversation with a canvasser who identified themselves as gay and as an advocate for gay marriage could persuade voters in California to become more supportive of gay marriage. The goal was to test whether persuasion methods used by advocacy groups to sway voters actually worked.

The sleuthing by Broockman, Kall, and Aronow led them to call the survey company that, according to the paper, was used to poll some 9500 people in California. The company revealed that they had done no such survey. The researchers also contacted LaCour's only co-author, Donald Green of Columbia University, who asked for the retraction after LaCour failed to produce data and other materials Green requested.


早々と論文撤回を依頼した共同執筆者の生データは見ていないというコメントもデジャブ感があります。動画で紹介されていたコメントは以下です。

Doubts About Study of Gay Canvassers Rattle the Field
By BENEDICT CAREY and PAM BELLUCKMAY 25, 2015

Dr. Green, who never saw the raw data on which the study was based, said he had repeatedly asked Mr. LaCour to post the data in a protected databank at the University of Michigan, where they could be examined later if needed. But Mr. LaCour did not.

“It’s a very delicate situation when a senior scholar makes a move to look at a junior scholar’s data set,” Dr. Green said. “This is his career, and if I reach in and grab it, it may seem like I’m boxing him out.”


雑誌Scienceはまず信憑性に懸念を表明して、その次週に撤回を決めていました。

LETTERS
Editorial expression of concern

In the 12 December 2014 issue, Science published the Report “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality” by Michael J. LaCour and Donald P. Green (1). On 19 May 2015, author Green requested that Science retract the paper because of the unavailability of raw data and other irregularities that have emerged in the published paper. Science is urgently working toward the appropriate resolution, while ensuring that a fair process is followed. In the meantime, Science is publishing this Editorial Expression of Concern to alert our readers to the fact that serious questions have been raised about the validity of findings in the LaCour and Green paper.

Marcia McNutt
Editor-in-Chief


RETRACTION
Editorial retraction
Marcia McNutt
Editor-in-Chief


Science, with the concurrence of author Donald P. Green, is retracting the 12 December 2014 Report “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality” by LaCour and Green ( 1 ).

The reasons for retracting the paper are as follows: (i) Survey incentives were misrepresented. To encourage participation in the survey, respondents were claimed to have been given cash payments to enroll, to refer family and friends, and to complete multiple surveys. In correspondence received from Michael J. LaCour’s attorney, he confirmed that no such payments were made. (ii) The statement on sponsorship was false. In the Report, LaCour acknowledged funding from the Williams Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund. Per correspondence from LaCour’s attorney, this statement was not true.

In addition to these known problems, independent researchers have noted certain statistical irregularities in the responses ( 2 ). LaCour has not produced the original survey data from which someone else could independently confirm the validity of the reported findings.

Michael J. LaCour does not agree to this Retraction.

Published online 28 May 2015


ニューズアワーで話していますが、調査の実態もないようなずさんな研究を通してしまうのはどうなのという同じ疑問が湧いてしまいますよね。日本のSTAP細胞の例も触れて書いているOpEです。

Op-Ed Who's to blame when fake science gets published?
By CHARLES SEIFE
In a scientific collaboration, a smart grad student can pull the wool over his advisor's eyes -- or vice versa
A modern science article rests on a foundation of trust, and that's a problem

Sure, it's an act of bad faith when a grad student fools his advisor with a fake survey, but it's also a predictable consequence of the scientific community's winking at the practice of senior scientists putting their names on junior researchers' work without getting elbow-deep in the guts of the research themselves.

It's all too common for a scientific fraud — last year's Japanese stem-cell meltdown, a 2011 chemistry scandal at Columbia University, the famous materials-science fiasco involving Bell Laboratories' Jan Hendrik Schon — to feature a young protege and a well-established scientist. The protege delivers great results; the stunningly incurious mentor asks no questions.

And, sure, it's an act of bad faith when a scientist submits false data to a journal; but the scientific publishing industry encourages such behavior through lax standards.


科学不祥事を取り上げたニューヨークタイムズの記事は小保方さんの会見の写真が使われています。。。

Retracted Scientific
Studies: A Growing List
By MICHAEL ROSTON MAY 28, 2015

The retraction by Science of a study of changing attitudes on gay marriage is the latest in a growing number of prominent withdrawals of the results of studies from scientific literature.

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