Thursday, March 26, 2009

Science funding and the forced bias on data


Science funding in the US is a strange thing.  It is a classic example of those that gots, gets.

The current trends in science are constantly reinforced by funding agencies staffed with scientists who fund the research that supports their own work.  It is a constant shuffle between academia and government.  The current model is enshrined.

Let me tell you about my experience back in the early 80’s.  I worked in a lab that did research in avian retroviruses (Rous Sarcoma virus) developing vaccines.  When I presented my work to my committee, one of my assigned faculty told me that “what you call retroviruses is a artifact in your data.”  You see, at the time, in Gordon’s mind, central dogma in molecular biology was that DNA—>RNA—>Protein.  There was no backtracking, that was the way of it.  Needless to say, I went and got a job, cuz I sure wasn’t going to get a degree.

Now that dogma isn’t held up as true.  I probably could dust off my work and resubmit it, but at this point, who cares?  The point of the story is that science isn’t always right, especially when funding is involved.  Suppression of data disproving current dogma is as prevalent now as in the 1600’s.  The only difference is that now the cycles of getting the real data out are shorter.

So right now I have been fascinated by the work in climate coming out of Russia and other countries.  They are sniping at the current religious beliefs of the “global warming” cadre and press.  They are also being systematically ignored.   I can’t emphasize strongly enough about the human error and mistakes in Science.  Eugenics was taught in high schools in the 1930’s.  God apparently does play dice.  Sociobiology is ignored because it conflicts with educational beliefs.

Wonder what the truth will be twenty years hence.

1 comment:

Mayberry said...

I posted something similar a while back. The outcome of a study always seems to be heavily influenced by the source of funding. I don't put much stock in "science". Like "journalism" today, it is no longer a pure pursuit....