Why Should Government Fund Bad Science?

No Comments on Why Should Government Fund Bad Science?

first_img(Visited 45 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Scientists are the least credible people to decide how money should be spent.Wastebook FriendsIn the wake of Senator Tom Coburn’s latest Wastebook of dubious scientific funding by the federal government, scientists are defending their misdeeds instead of blushing. Coburn (R-Oklahoma), a medical doctor, listed the top 100 wasteful projects that cost taxpayers $25 billion, including grants to study “voodoo dolls, gambling monkeys, zombies in love” and other subjects that seem to have no redeeming value or national interest (CNBC, Washington Times). Coburn’s site lists just a few of the studies and what they cost:Coast guard party patrols – $100,000Watching grass grow – $10,000State department tweets @ terrorists – $3 millionSwedish massages for rabbits – $387,000Paid vacations for bureaucrats gone wild – $20 millionMountain lions on a treadmill – $856,000Synchronized swimming for sea monkeys – $50,000Pentagon to destroy $16 billion in unused ammunition — $1 billionScientists hope monkey gambling unlocks secrets of free will –$171,000Rich and famous rent out their luxury pads tax free – $10 millionStudying “hangry” spouses stabbing voodoo dolls – $331,000Promoting U.S. culture around the globe with nose flutists – $90 millionAt Live Science, though, Stephanie Pappas defended these studies in the name of basic research—”studies that may not have immediate application and thus rarely get funding through private channels.” Many profound discoveries have, indeed, been made through basic research. Surely, though, not all basic research is created equal. The government cannot throw money at every conceivable study.National Geographic sides with Live Science against government intrusion into funding decisions. This article, “Should the Government Fund Only Science in the ‘National Interest’?” attacks another Republican congressman, Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who is pushing more oversight and accountability at the National Science Foundation (NSF), asking for “national interest” as a condition for funding science projects, even though he has only specifically “targeted several dozen specific grants out of 12,000 projects the NSF supports annually.” Like Pappas, reporter Eli Kintisch defends the status quo with the “basic science” argument. The NSF has a governing board that should decide how funds are spent, not politicians—particularly those with a “conservative political agenda.”Once again, though, the list of possible “basic research” projects vastly exceeds the money available. Who should decide? Who should pay?The answers might be simpler if institutional science’s method of knowledge generation guaranteed the production of accurate, useful information. But that assumption was again challenged by John Ioannidis, a Stanford University scientist, who published one of the most-cited papers of the millennium ten years ago, “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.” Now he’s back, Nature News reported, with a new list of recommendations for improving the still-awful record of published papers found to be wrong after passing peer review. One biologist tweeted, “I’m totally with John Ioannidis when he says the scientific reward system needs to change.”Broken EngineIn Nature he performed a new study: “John P. A. Ioannidis and colleagues asked the most highly cited biomedical scientists to score their top-ten papers in six ways.” (See also Science Daily: “Most published medical research is false; Here’s how to improve.” It’s clear from his team’s findings that peer review and citation rates are not guaranteeing good science.There’s a long history of political control of science funding. The Paris Academy was directed by the king; they studied what he wanted them to study. In America, the government was initially much more controlling over science funding before the NSF was founded to direct scientific projects. Even so, “Tensions over the role of politics in science decisions have ‘been baked in from the start at NSF,’” one congressional staff member commented.It’s also true that “national interest” is a vague standard. It might be in the national interest to focus on a wide variety of basic research projects, for national prestige or to attract the best and brightest researchers around the world. Certainly, though, there can be no national interest for publishing studies that are false or ridiculous.One thing seems to be forgotten by all the writers and reporters: the taxpayer. Government does not generate wealth; people and businesses do. What government has it confiscates through taxes. The one who pays, therefore, should have a strong voice in how that money is spent—and it does, in the form of representatives like John Coburn and Lamar Smith who, speaking for their constituents, would like at least a little more accountability for a spendthrift agency like the NSF that decides to study zombies when the nation is suffering under a $17 trillion debt and faltering economy.It should not also be forgotten that any scientist is free to pursue any project with private funding. Many great discoveries were funded by private industry, foundations, or personal fortunes; look at what Elon Musk is accomplishing. If someone is not rich but has a good idea, crowdsourcing services like Kickstarter are available. Scientist, make your case: “I would like to raise funds to study synchronized swimming for sea monkeys.”Unfortunately, Wastebook 2014 may be the last. Senator Coburn retires after his present term. It is not clear if anyone will take up his mission of pointing out instances of government waste.The last word goes to John Ioannidis, who stated in 2012,I do not mention all of these caveats because I believe they are very likely to occur to the point that the negatives of these proposed practices will outweigh the positives…. However, at the end of the day, no matter what changes are made, scientific credibility may not improve unless the pursuit of truth remains our main goal in our work as scientists. This is a most noble mission that needs to be continuously reasserted.    —John Ioannidis, “Why Science Is Not Necessarily Self-Correcting,” Perspectives on Psychological Science (7 Nov 2012), as cited by Evolution News & Views.We asked once before if a scientist should be funded who wants to study the sounds emitted by animals when he steps on their feet. Wouldn’t that qualify as “basic research”? Doesn’t that fit within the category of “studies that may not have immediate application and thus rarely get funding through private channels”?We treat “Science” as some kind of infallible category of information-gathering, but like C.S. Lewis said, we should really look at any research endeavor as a matter of logical knowledge, not treating “scientific” knowledge as a separate thing. Science, moreover, is mediated by fallible, self-interested human beings. We humans can only overcome our selfish urges through accountability to others.last_img read more

EVM snags mar U.P. municipal elections

No Comments on EVM snags mar U.P. municipal elections

first_imgVoting for the first phase of urban local body polls in Uttar Pradesh was held on Wednesday amid reports of alleged bogus voting and EVM malfunctioning in some districts.In ward number 89 of Meerut, people complained that the EVM was casting votes only for the BJP no matter which button was pressed, leading to ruckus in the polling booth. Another incident was reported from Dhavai Nagar locality of Meerut where the machine was voting for BJP and NOTA in case any button was pressed. A BSP supporter who went to vote in Dhavai Nagar recorded the incident in his phone showing how once he pressed the button for the BSP candidate the light flashed before the sign of BJP and NOTA. He uploaded the video on social media which created a huge uproar. Voting was stopped and resumed only after the EVM was replaced.Similarly EVM malfunctioning was reported from ward number 55 at South DUJ Inter College in Gorakhpur. The EVM did not work for more than an hour due to which the voting process was halted. Not even a single vote was cast till 10 a.m. which led to long queues in the booth. Additional State Election Commissioner Ved Prakash told the media that no EVM in Meerut was tampered with. He said the “claims of EVM rigging are false.”Similar complaints came up in two wards in Kanpur where an EVM had to be changed in Tiwaripur ward after voters claimed the machine registered a vote for the BJP no matter which button they pressed. State Election Commissioner S.K. Agarwal said re-polling was ordered only in Badaun, where a few people tried to run away with the ballot boxes. They were, however, caught by the police.last_img read more

Fajardo determined to find ways to stop hulking Smith

No Comments on Fajardo determined to find ways to stop hulking Smith

first_imgJune Mar Fajardo. PBA IMAGESJune Mar Fajardo admitted that TNT behemoth Joshua Smith is definitely one of the toughest guys he has ever faced in his young professional career.“He’s definitely one of the heaviest. You can see that he’s really that big,” the reigning three-time PBA MVP said in Filipino after San Miguel’s 104-102 Game 1 defeat in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.ADVERTISEMENT Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH LATEST STORIES MOST READ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Fajardo had a tough time defending Smith in the post and that was evident when he failed to stop the burly reinforcement’s game-clinching hook shot with 1.6 seconds to spare.READ: Smith game-winner lifts TNT past San Miguel for 1-0 leadFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“He was able to make it,” Fajardo said of TNT’s crucial play down the stretch. “His hook shot is good, so we have to adjust on how to stop him. The game was really for them.”The KaTropa took the 1-0 series lead in the best-of-seven championship duel. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide View commentscenter_img What ‘missteps’? Fajardo, who toiled for his 18 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks, got a reprieve in the second half when Smith’s left foot injury hampered him in two separate occasions. But Smith was still unstoppable down the stretch.Despite the heartbreaking loss, Fajardo opted to stay optimistic as he shifts his focus on Friday for Game 2.“TNT had a good defense, so it’s up to us to adjust. We have to rest, practice tomorrow, and bounce back,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Pogoy shrugs off nerves to get career best in first PBA Finals trip Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’last_img read more

2016 Elite Eight Finals on Fox Sports!

No Comments on 2016 Elite Eight Finals on Fox Sports!

first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) is pleased to announce that the 2016 Elite Eight Series finals will replayed on Fox Sports 1 next week.   The finals, which first appeared on Fox Sports 1 in early April, will be replayed at the following times: Tuesday, 19 April 2.30pm – 4.00pm (Fox Sports 1)Friday, 22 April3.00am – 4.30am (Fox Sports 1)The Elite Eight Men’s and Women’s grand finals as well as the NTL Mixed Open and selected NTL grand finals were live streamed direct from C.ex International Stadium by Power Productions in March, you can watch how it all unfolded here. Be sure to lock it in to your TV viewing schedule and share this among your colleagues and friends!Related LinksElite Eight finals on TV!last_img

10 months agoBarcelona coach Valverde delighted with Levante rout: Very different to last year

No Comments on 10 months agoBarcelona coach Valverde delighted with Levante rout: Very different to last year

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barcelona coach Valverde delighted with Levante rout: Very different to last yearby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was delighted with their 5-0 win at Levante.Lionel Messi shone for the Catalans as the Argentine bagged three goals and provided two assists.”We are happy because last year we played here and conceded five after a whole season without losing,” Valverde said.”That was only a few months ago, they are having a great season and they keep showing that.”We remembered last year and we managed to put it behind us and leave with a clean sheet.”Levante started well on Sunday but ultimately fell short and Valverde says he expected the game to begin as it did.”They started as we imagined,” he said.”We had to change the setup based on the casualties we had so it was difficult for us and they squeezed us.”They’re able to score and dangerous when they counterattack but we had the fortune of opening the score.” last_img read more

a month agoHoeness SHOCKER: Bayern Munich players won’t join Germany if Ter Stegen No1

No Comments on a month agoHoeness SHOCKER: Bayern Munich players won’t join Germany if Ter Stegen No1

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Hoeness SHOCKER: Bayern Munich players won’t join Germany if Ter Stegen No1by Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has continued his tirade against Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.Hoeness is furious with Ter Stegen questioning Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer’s status as Germany’s No1.So much so, he made the stunning threat: “If Ter Stegen is a starter, we will not relinquish our players to the national team.”Hoeness also told BILD: “We will not accept that there is a change in the goal. “Before that happens we will stop giving players to the national team.” last_img

a month agoMan Utd midfielder Pereira desperate to repay Solskjaer support

No Comments on a month agoMan Utd midfielder Pereira desperate to repay Solskjaer support

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd midfielder Pereira desperate to repay Solskjaer supportby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira accepts the team is falling short of standards. The Belgium-born Brazil ­international has been at Old Trafford long enough to know Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in the midst of a crisis ahead of the game with Arsenal tomorrow. Pereira said: “The manager has shown a lot of faith in the young players – and I am very proud being one of them.“I want to carry on repaying that faith and hopefully nail down a spot in the team. ­ Manchester United is the ­biggest club in world. If we get a scoreline like we did at West Ham, the reaction to it is big – but that is normal.“People will talk about it and will always talk about this club. But we are Man United players and we have to deal with that pressure.“We have to pick ourselves up. We beat Rochdale and I am sure we will do the same against ­Arsenal.” last_img read more

Video: South Carolina’s Shon Carson Scores Touchdown Off Of Deflected Lorenzo Nunez Pass

No Comments on Video: South Carolina’s Shon Carson Scores Touchdown Off Of Deflected Lorenzo Nunez Pass

first_imgShon Carson makes a deflected catch.Twitter/@TeamSpeedKillsMissouri and South Carolina are both looking for a big SEC East win today, and each has a new quarterback at the helm for today’s game. Mizzou jumped out to an early lead, but the Gamecocks tied things up in a pretty unconventional way. In an attempt to avoid a sack, freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez heaved one up to star receiver Phraoh Cooper. A Tiger defensive back nearly makes a big pick, but instead bats the ball directly to Shon Carson, who takes it in for a game-tying touchdown.pic.twitter.com/PlLxtfnh6b— Brandon Larrabee (@TeamSpeedKills) October 3, 2015That’s pretty unlucky for Mizzou. The Tigers answered quickly, however, and took a 17-10 lead just moments later on a Drew Lock touchdown pass to Nate Brown.last_img

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeaus blackface scandal makes international headlines

No Comments on Liberal Leader Justin Trudeaus blackface scandal makes international headlines

first_imgIn its story, Politico tried to put Trudeau’s conduct into a national context for global readers, concluding that the photos had potential to do real damage.“A vast swath of Canadians finds these incidents every bit as disgraceful as their American neighbours,” the article reads. “They argue that historical differences are no excuse because blackface holds an equally objectionable — if lesser-known — place in Canada’s story.” The blackface scandal engulfing Justin Trudeau and his re-election campaign has spilled beyond Canada’s borders, with prominent international media devoting considerable space to the Liberal leader’s apology and challenging his global reputation as a champion of progressive ideals.Newspapers, websites and television stations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and beyond gave the burgeoning scandal prominent play on Thursday, hours after an American news outlet first released a 2001 photo that threatens to upend Trudeau’s re-election bid.Time Magazine first released the image of Trudeau wearing brownface while clad in a turban Wednesday afternoon. Hours later, Trudeau apologized for the image, taken at a  British Columbia private school where he used to teach. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2019. Since then, however, at least two other images have surfaced depicting Trudeau in blackface and drawing increasing attention from international press that once showered him with plaudits.“Mr. Trudeau has long cast himself as a glittering spokesman for the world’s beleaguered liberals, standing up to (U.S.) President (Donald) Trump, supporting gender and Indigenous rights, welcoming immigrants, and fighting climate change and racism,” wrote the New York Times. “…that carefully calibrated image suffered a major blow.”The tone was similar in many of the outlets that shied away from commentary or analysis in their coverage. Trudeau’s acknowledgment of poor judgment and racist conduct, coupled with his apology for the 2001 photo, was presented alongside his vocal espousement of progressive values and his appointment of a gender-balanced cabinet upon taking power in 2015.Such accounts could be found in outlets ranging from The Associated Press, The Guardian in the U.K., the BBC, Australia’s Sidney Morning Herald and Al Jazeera’s English service.Elsewhere, however, the coverage fell along more partisan lines.Fox News presented a fairly clinical online account of the scandal, but devoted considerable airtime to the story on the “Fox and Friends” morning show.” The outlet also penned an article taking aim at a network rival using the Trudeau controversy as a jumping-off point.center_img Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press CNN aired a panel where pundits weighed in on the Trudeau affair. While they condemned his previous conduct, all present focused on his subsequent apology and contrasted his behaviour with the brash approach usually favoured by Trump.“Wow, a leader apologizing,” quipped anchor Don Lemon. “It seems odd, doesn’t it? Because we have one who doesn’t.”Other outlets attempted to pull back from the immediate controversy by focusing on both Trudeau’s political past and the way in which the scandal could impact his chances for re-election. Trudeau is currently embroiled in a tight race with Conservative party Leader Andrew Scheer, with recent polls suggesting the two were in a dead heat before the photos were released.An article from The Associated Press presented Trudeau’s current woes alongside a chronicling of the SNC-Lavalin affair that dominated Canadian headlines earlier in the year. It also contrasted the images of Trudeau with similar photos of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam that emerged earlier this year, prompting calls for his resignation.last_img read more

SC asks GJM leaders to approach Calcutta HC for anticipatory bail

No Comments on SC asks GJM leaders to approach Calcutta HC for anticipatory bail

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave liberty to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri, against whom several cases are lodged in West Bengal, to approach the Calcutta High Court for anticipatory bail to enable them to participate in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.The apex court said its interim order of December 12 last year, in which it had said that no coercive action be taken till next date of hearing, will continue to operate until further orders. “We request the high court not to go into the issue of maintainability by relegating to the different sessions courts in whose jurisdiction the FIRs (against them) are lodged,” a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”If such applications for anticipatory bail are filed within four days from today, it is expected that the high court shall take them up expeditiously and dispose them in accordance with law without delay including grant of ad-interim orders to its satisfaction,” said the bench, also comprising Justices M M Shantanagoudar and Navin Sinha. The court passed the order on interim prayer of Gurung and Giri who were seeking protection to enable them to approach the appropriate court for seeking anticipatory bail. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KSenior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for them, had argued in the apex court that numerous FIRs have been lodged against Gurung and Giri and they both were “effectively being prevented from participating in the forthcoming general elections”. They argued that the state government has “political vendetta” against them. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for West Bengal, has opposed their plea seeking protection saying FIRs lodged against them were of serious nature. In its order, the bench said: “Having heard the parties, the prayer for interim relief, in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, is disposed of with liberty to approach the high court for grant of anticipatory bail in accordance with law.”last_img read more