In 2005, three MIT graduate students created a program called SCIgen that randomly generates fake scientific papers. Since its inception, over 200 computer generated papers have been published in scientific journals. Many health care professionals rely on published research to make treatment recommendations, and large numbers of patients can be affected when false findings make their way into otherwise respected journals. The prevalence of anti-scientific science is how we’ve ended up in a world of toxic chemical-based agriculture and subsidized junk food that deteriorates rather than supports health. Independent research, where funding is unrelated to findings, has become a rarity, and the end result is a dramatic deterioration of credible science
Many health care professionals rely on published research to make treatment recommendations, and large numbers of patients can be affected when false findings make their way into otherwise respected journals.
Unfortunately, this happens more frequently than you might think. In recent years, it's become quite clear that the scientific field has a major problem on its hands, as seriously flawed, and worse, outright falsified, research is entering the system at an increasing rate.
Bad information is usually worse than no information at all, especially when we're talking about health and treatment protocols that affect hundreds of thousands of patients.
Industry and Medical Journals Are Destroying Credible Science
The problem, to a great extent, can be traced back to industry-based and industry-funded research, which has overtaken most scientific fields of inquiry. Independent research, where funding is unrelated to findings, has become a rarity, and the end result is a dramatic deterioration of credible science.
Chemical technology …
There is some momentum behind this idea. In the past year, more than 10,000 researchers have signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, which argues for the “need to assess research on its own merits.” This comes up most consequentially in academic hiring and tenure decisions. As Sandra Schmid, the chair of the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration, wrote, “our signatures are meaningless unless we change our hiring practices. … Our goal is to identify future colleagues who might otherwise have failed to pass through the singular artificial CV filter of high-impact journals, awards, and pedigree.”
Unless academic departments around the world follow Schmid's example, in another couple of years, no doubt Labbé will find another few hundred fake papers haunting the databases of scientific publication. The gibberish papers (“TIC: a methodology for the construction of e-commerce”) are only the absurdist culmination of an academic evaluation and publication process set up to encourage them.
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