As perhaps a sign of the increasing global concern about what appears to be an epidemic of misconduct among the scientific community, the New York Times has published an article titled "A Sharp Rise in Retractions Prompts Calls for Reform" by Carl Zimmer.
In it, Dr Ferric Fang, Editor in Chief of the journal Infection and Immunity is quoted as saying "Nobody had noticed the whole thing was rotten."
The article further reports that "Dr. Fang became curious how far the rot extended. To find out, he teamed up with a fellow editor at the journal, Dr. Arturo Casadevall of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. And before long they reached a troubling conclusion: not only that retractions were rising at an alarming rate, but that retractions were just a manifestation of a much more profound problem — “a symptom of a dysfunctional scientific climate,” as Dr. Fang put it."
Should Singapore be concerned? The answer is an obvious "Yes!"
Yet there is this great wall of silence, as if no one wants to talk about it or publicly deal with the problem, potential or real. Alirio Melendez's publications have been under investigation for too long with any resolution. But not only Melendez, a number of other big and not so big names have been flagged out by blogs such as Abnormal Science. In these there are allegations of self plagiarism, image manipulations, data mislabelling etc. Yet there has to date, been no public acknowledgement of these problems, exoneration or evidence of any actions taken. Sadly silence just serves to condone such practices.
I think we owe it to our students and future generations of scientists to deal promptly, impartially and publicly with these problems.
5 years ago