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Without Integrity, There Is No Science

first_imgScience continues facing a crisis in credibility, leaving Big Science institutions scrambling for solutions.Any college student has likely walked through aisles upon aisles of scholarly science journals, bound into thick volumes. The library stores the collective findings of thousands of research scientists. Now imagine a day when half the reports are fakes or frauds, and there is no way to tell which are real. Such an eventuality would render the library useless. A civilization with that kind of legacy would have to start over from scratch, insisting on high standards of a non-scientific criterion: integrity.The following articles, briefly noted here, point to a crisis in trustworthiness of scientists and their institutions. No longer can Big Science dish out findings for public consumption with presumptive authority, promising that peer review has earned them their trust. Everyone needs to buck up and show why the public should trust what they deliver. They also show that scientific methods and traditions are malleable under heat and pressure. What happens, though, when most of them are evolutionists?Evolution of integrity? Since Darwin’s second major book, The Descent of Man, his followers have appealed to natural and sexual selection to explain human moral traits. A recent example from PNAS by Adam Bear and David Rand is about “Intuition, deliberation, and the evolution of cooperation.” Those are certainly required in a scientific community. Alas, “Our model offers a clear explanation for why we should expect deliberation to promote selfishness rather than cooperation,” they say. If evolution rewards defectors from the “seemingly altruistic behavior” of cooperation, what’s really going on in those science conferences? If it’s only “seemingly altruistic,” it’s an illusion produced by blind forces of nature.Tackling the credibility crisis in science: That’s PhysOrg‘s headline for a piece about an initiative by the Public Library of Science (PLoS) to improve credibility by doing “research on research.” “Widespread failure to reproduce research results has triggered a crisis of confidence in research findings, eroding public trust in scientific methodology.” This follows on the heels of work by John Ioannidis (10/29/14), who “found very poor reproducibility and transparency standards across the board.” Scientists behaved badly. “Specifically, the vast majority of studies did not share their data, did not provide protocols, claimed to report novel findings rather than replications, and did not mention funding or conflicts of interest.” What was it we imagined about those aisles of books in the library?Nature reports that a fake research paper got published with the editor’s knowledge in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice as a satire on “evidence-based literature” and randomized controlled trials. Not everyone caught the joke, even though the title should have been obvious: “Maternal kisses are not effective in alleviating minor childhood injuries (boo-boos): a randomized, controlled and blinded study.” Some complained that the paper should have been “clearly labelled as satirical.”Cashin’ in: Science Magazine reports on the new fad of “transparency” and the need for reproducibility of scientific research. Psychologist Brian Nosek is using a carrot method to promote better behavior by scientists: offering them money to describe their experiments before running them. Maybe that will direct their evolved “seemingly altruistic behavior” (which is really Darwinian selfishness, according to the paper above) against its natural tendencies. What Nosek may have discovered is an infinite regress: “‘Can we find evidence of whether [preregistration] is yielding an increase in the credibility of the research?’ he asks. ‘That is a research question.‘” But then, who would test the credibility of that research? That is a research question, too, and so on, ad infinitum. Somewhere along the line, a researcher needs to be trustworthy by his or her character and personal integrity.Open journal trend.  Peer review is being reconsidered. Nature says, “Open journals that piggyback on arXiv gather momentum.” Cornell’s arXiv server plowed a new furrow years ago, letting scientists post their papers and get them peer reviewed afterward instead of before. Cosmologist Andrew King used it is a general lesson in scientific publishing: “‘Reliability — and particularly fairness — are very hard to guarantee,” he says, pointing out that the backing of long-lived organizations with a stake in the future of a field, such as learned societies, is often crucial to a journal’s success.”Dutch take the lead: Nature reports that the Dutch are taking the lead to open up their journals. All the mainstream journals have opened up more and more of their research papers to public online access, but the Netherlands is pushing for “making more papers free for all users as soon as they are published.” This cannot be welcome news for the publishers whose income relies on subscriptions. The trend is also having repercussions on universities, libraries, and researchers, but it is welcome to citizens whose taxes often pay for the research. It also decreases rivalries, increases transparency, and promotes rapid response. Nature is apparently waiting to see if this will become the international trend, even as their own open-access offerings have been on the rise. In a related piece in Nature, Virginia Gewin writes,It is a movement building steady momentum: a call to make research data, software code and experimental methods publicly available and transparent. A spirit of openness is gaining traction in the science community, and is the only way, say advocates, to address a ‘crisis’ in science whereby too few findings are successfully reproduced. Furthermore, they say, it is the best way for researchers to gather the range of observations that are necessary to speed up discoveries or to identify large-scale trends.What does this say about the situation heretofore? How bad was the lack of openness before now?Opacity, not transparency: PhysOrg gives a partial answer: “Poor transparency and reporting jeopardize the reproducibility of science.” How bad has it been? “Billions of dollars are wasted every year on research that cannot be reproduced,” the article concludes from two studies on biomedical literature, where widespread abuse of protocols was noted, such as the failure to declare conflicts of interest. “The findings of these two studies join a long list of concerns about bias and reporting in basic research.” The authors of one study give examples, but only rely on hope that things will get better. “We hope our survey will further sensitize scientists, funders, journals and other science-related stakeholders about the need to improve these indicators,” they said. If the incentives are all selfish from natural selection, though, why get sensitive about it?Listen up, those of you who have been taught Finagle’s Law, “Science is truth! Do not be misled by facts.” The “Scientific Method” (there is no such thing; see 3/11/15) is not an impartial, impersonal knowledge generator. You can’t turn a crank and watch knowledge pop out, when the one turning the crank is a crank himself.Nothing good can come from a corrupt source. Jesus said, “A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit” (Matthew 7:18). Why, then, do any fallen individuals sometimes come up with good scientific results? For one thing, even a broken clock is right twice a day. For another, they have to pretend to do right sometimes to avoid collapsing in their own corruption. Finally, it can get painful to deny moral reality all the time.The evil trees borrow fruit from the godly trees to hang on their own branches, but it isn’t produced from their own sap. Darwin planted a lot of trees flowing with his own toxic brew of sap that permeates his fruit. Anyone who eats it is a sap himself. You eat what you are.(Visited 70 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Charge It: Square Gets a Visa Investment

first_imgRelated Posts mike melanson Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Visa may have just launched In2Pay, a mobile payments solution of its own, last December but why should that stop it from funding rival mobile payment systems? The answer is that it shouldn’t and it hasn’t.This morning, Square, the mobile payment solution founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, announced that it had received “an undisclosed ‘strategic investment’ amount from Visa, the No. 1 credit card company,” according to The Wall Street Journal.Square gives merchants the ability to process credit card payments by way of a namesake dongle that plugs into the headphone jack of an iPhone, iPad or Android phone. With a complimentary app, customers then swipe their card in the dongle and the payment takes place over the phone’s Internet connection.Visa has been testing its own mobile payment solutions, primarily involving Near Field Communications (NFC) chips, for some time. It might seem like a contradiction, then, to invest in another mobile payment company, right? As Square COO Keith Rabois explained to The New York Times, however, the move makes perfect sense for Visa, “because Square could convert the 27 million businesses that don’t accept credit cards into Visa customers.”“We’re empowering people to accept credit cards that historically have not,” Rabois told the Times. According to TechCrunch, Square did $66 million in payment volume in the first quarter of 2011 – $26 million more than expected – and plans on tripling that in the second quarter. Rabois told TechCrunch that Visa accounts for roughly two-thirds of all Square transactions.If merchants were previously reluctant to sign up for Square, a vote of confidence by Visa might just change their minds. What do you think – are you more willing to slide your card through the little white square than you were before? What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Finance#mobile#news#NYT#web last_img read more

Malaysian icon thwarts rising PH star

first_imgKaitlin de Guzman bags the silver medal in floor exercises in Gymnastics in the 2017 SEAG Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZKUALA LUMPUR—Going for gold in her pet floor exercise, Kaitlin de Guzman ran into a Malaysian gymnastic icon Wednesday here in the Southeast Asian Games.The 17-year-old novice, daughter of a former SEA Games champion, ended up settling for silver against Malaysian Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, the very popular defending champion.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief “Kaitlin also performed very well and had a clean routine as well,” said Ortega, who sees a bright future for Philippine gymnastics with De Guzman in the fold.“We are very happy to have her with the team,” said Ortega of De Guzman, who only had one month to train with the team. “And she jibes well with the team like she’s been part of it for a long time.” Read Next SEA Games: Bejar fades vs Indonesian, settles for silver View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC READ: More medals from PH gymnastics as De Guzman, Capellan bag silver, 2 bronzes“I knew it was gonna be tough because she (Hadi) had a high-start value and which she executed cleanly,” said women’s artistic gymnastics team coach Jasmin Ortega of the Malaysian, whose face is splashed on LRT and MRT lines all over this city.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHadi won the event two years ago in Singapore and came into the finals at MITEC Hall as the prohibitive favorite for the gold.READ: Young gymnast captures PH’s fifth gold medal Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspensioncenter_img LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program LATEST STORIES LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Gameslast_img read more

a month agoSouthampton defender Wesley Hoedt: I regret leaving Lazio

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Southampton defender Wesley Hoedt: I regret leaving Lazioby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton defender Wesley Hoedt regrets leaving Lazio.He is currently on loan at Belgian side Antwerp.Hoedt said, “I made a mistake [leaving Lazio]. I had a five-year contract with them. After two years, they offered to extend it for another five, with better conditions.“Italian football culture is very professional, but everyone wants to play in the best League in the world, the Premier League, and the Southampton offered me a contract that I couldn’t refuse.“Unfortunately, the club had two bad seasons and things didn’t go as I thought they would.” last_img read more

MORE HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTERS WILL SOON BE FILMED IN TORONTO

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement READ MORE Advertisement Facebook Twitter Login/Register With: Toronto’s reputation as Hollywood North just keeps growing, and one of its biggest film studios is about to get even bigger.The sprawling 300,000 square foot Pinewood Toronto Studios is set to add another 27,500 square feet of mixed-use facilities as part of a long term project that will see the studio’s footprint expanded to 700,000 square feet across 33.5 acres of land in the Port Lands.The newest facilities will include a new sound stage, production office, and workshop area for costume and set design. It’s a 10 per cent increase to the existing studio, but foretells of much more to come.last_img read more

A Winter Games sister act

first_imgAPTN National NewsTwo athletes from the Yukon are at the Canada Winter Games.And for the sisters, it’s more than a competition, it’s a family affair.APTN National News reporter Lindsey Willie explains.last_img

Howard Carroll lead guitarist for Dixie Hummingbirds dies

first_imgPHILADELPHIA – A lead guitarist for the influential and Grammy Award-winning gospel group the Dixie Hummingbirds has died in Philadelphia.Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services says Howard Carroll died Tuesday at an assisted-living facility at age 92.The Dixie Hummingbirds started as a quartet of students formed by James B. Davis in a Greenville, South Carolina, high school in 1928. The group toured widely and recorded a cappella for the Decca label in the 1930s and then relocated to Philadelphia in the 1940s.After World War II, as the sound of gospel changed, the Hummingbirds added bass, drums and guitar supplied by Carroll.They performed on Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock” in 1973 and won a Grammy for their own version.The band’s influence extends well beyond gospel circles to artists including James Brown and Stevie Wonder.last_img read more

Patient transferred to Fort Nelson Hospital after airplane crash

first_imgFORT NELSON, B.C. – CHEK-TV in Victoria is reporting that Comox’s 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron was called out to help with a small plane crash near Liard River in the Yukon.The crash happened 20 nautical miles northeast of Liard River in the Yukon, near the B.C. – Yukon Border.Search and rescue crews were sent out Friday evening and were able to rescue the pilot and stabilize the patient.  The patient was then transported to Fort Nelson for further care. What was supposed to be your average day out doing compliance and enforcement over the long weekend quickly went into full gear as the Fort Nelson BCCOS are called in by the RCMP to assist with the search and rescue of a downed small aircraft last night. pic.twitter.com/oq5qQSvJVy— BC CO Service (@_BCCOS) May 19, 2018Rescue crews were dispatched out of Victoria after the Cessna 206’s emergency locator signal was received.last_img read more

Great to witness this cultural moment

first_imgSeoul: As someone who began the Avengers journey with Iron Man ten years ago, Robert Downey Jr says it is gratifying to see actors like Brie Larson, the newest addition to the team as Captain Marvel, shatter the glass ceiling. The actor said the emotional involvement of the audience with the franchise is the reward for the time and effort the team has put in these movies for the past decade. “I’m honestly looking at, seeing all of you, and I know some of you hold this cinematic universe close to your heart and it has this symbolism stuff and it has really come to that way for us too,” he said. “Now, I honestly just feel like I get to be a part of witnessing this cultural moment that’s coming up and I’m filled with a lot of gratitude. Just to be (here) next door to the centre stage, to the lady of the hour here (Larson), who’s broken through this double-pane glass window and kind of re-established what this genre is supposed to be, is just very gratifying.”last_img read more

No eway bill if GST returns not filed for 2 months

first_imgNew Delhi: Non-filers of GST returns for two straight months will be barred from generating e-way bills for transporting goods effective June 21, the finance ministry said. Businesses under GST composition scheme, however, will be barred from generating e-way bill if they fail to file tax returns for two consecutive filing periods, which is six months. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has notified June 21, 2019, as the day from which any “consignor, consignee, transporter, e-commerce operator or courier agency” would be barred from generating electronic way or e-way bill for failure to file tax returns for the stipulated time period as mentioned in the GST rules. As per rules, a composition scheme taxpayer who has not furnished the returns for two consecutive tax periods and a regular taxpayer who has not filed returns for a consecutive period of two months would be restricted from generating e-way bill.last_img read more