Friday Links

1. Should Science put up with sloppiness?

It is interesting that correct papers get retracted for ethical reasons, but rarely just because they are wrong.

2.Fraud & Science

The proposal, submitted some years earlier to a funding agency on a different continent, was copied by one of the reviewers, a highly recognized scientist, and then submitted to the ERC. It was pure chance that the former applicant detected the fraud.

[…] However, the larger legal framework of the European Commission (EC) under which the ERC operates links “frauds” only to financial aspects. The ERC is then obliged to report any (accomplished or attempted) misbehavior to OLAF, the European antifraud police. Financial fraud, however, causes the least headaches. In the above case, the ERC was unable to take action against the mischievous applicant.

Contrast with how standard scientific practice becomes criminal when money is involved:

“If you applied this rule to scientists, a sizable proportion of them might be in jail today,” said Steven N. Goodman, a pediatrician and biostatistician at Stanford University who submitted a statement supporting Harkonen’s appeal.

3. Another weird science fraud case:

The authors of a paper published in July […] are not only unknown at the institution listed on the paper, but no trace of them as researchers can be found.

The paper […] is not the kind of prank that journals have encountered before, in which hoaxsters have submitted dummy papers to highlight weaknesses in the peer-review process. The paper’s reported findings […] are, in fact, true.

Bruce Spiegelman […] says that he has presented similar findings at about six research meetings, and is preparing to submit them to a journal. He suspects that the [paper by unknown authors] was intended as a spoiler of his own lab’s work.

4. More non-computational thinking, the stupid snob edition

David Salz’s thoroughly researched assault on USB’s sonic handicaps delivers a relaxed, well-defined, dynamically evocative, and rhythmically taut performance. The Silver Starlight projects strings without screechiness, which cannot be said of most USB cables. For those seeking a mid-priced USB cable with obviously high build-quality and performance, the Silver Starlight is a solid choice.

The Silver Starlight USB digital cable costs $275/m!

My point stands: it is easier to identify non-computational thinking than to define what computational thinking is.

/ht Carter T Schonwald (@cartazio) on twitter


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