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Harvard Teaching Hospital Retracts Papers Following Probe into Data Falsification Claims

Harvard Teaching Hospital Retracts Papers Following Probe into Data Falsification Claims

We are asked to trust The Science™ time and time again by our media, bureaucrats, and political leaders.

However, as I have often noted at Legal Insurrection, our scientific institutions have had an alarming ideological capture. Therefore, it is hard for scientists to publish or find funding unless their research supports the current narratives.

More troubling, a significant issue reveals itself about what is getting published. For example, following a probe into data falsification, a Harvard University-affiliated teaching hospital plans to retract or correct dozens of papers authored by four top researchers.

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston has already initiated six retractions to papers and 31 others are in the process of being corrected, the hospital’s research integrity officer, Dr. Barrett Rollins, confirmed to the Harvard Crimson.

The corrections follow claims of data falsification leveled against the cancer institute’s CEO, Dr. Laurie Glimcher, chief operating officer Dr. William Hahn, director of the Clinical Investigator Research Program Dr. Irene Ghobrial and Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center program director Dr. Kenneth Anderson.

The latest accusations come just weeks after Harvard University president Claudine Gay resigned from her top post after she was embroiled in her own plagiarism scandal.

All four of the Dana-Farber researchers have faculty appointments with the Harvard Medical School.

News of the probe surfaced after a data sleuth, Sholto David, published a blog post earlier this month alleging irregularities in a total of 57 papers.

The whistleblower, Sholto David, suggested Adobe Photoshop was used to copy and paste images in some of the papers. Rollins (the aforementioned hospital research integrity officer) stressed that the issues uncovered do not necessarily amount to misconduct.

“The presence of image discrepancies in a paper is not evidence of an author’s intent to deceive. That conclusion can only be drawn after a careful, fact-based examination which is an integral part of our response. Our experience is that errors are often unintentional and do not rise to the level of misconduct,” Rollins said.

“While software advancements can reveal anomalies not previously detected, AI programs are not foolproof. In fact, some of the allegations recently raised by a blogger against Dana-Farber researchers are wrong,” Rollins said.

He added that 16 of the allegations “contained data generated in laboratories other than those of the four Dana-Farber authors named in the blog.”

This is certainly a troubling development for Harvard in the wake of the Claudine Gay plagiarism fiasco. One has to wonder exactly how much solid science is coming from Harvard nowadays.

Sadly, the same question must be asked of all other higher education institutions and scientific centers. More than 10,000 scientific research papers were retracted in 2023 — shattering historic records.

It was a bad year for science publishing with more than 10,000 research papers being retracted, setting a new record for the most retractions in a single year. The results suggest this is just a fraction of the dodgy papers still out there.

According to recent analysis conducted by Nature, the number of retractions issued in 2023 has surpassed previous annual records, with the worse offenders being from large research-publishing nations such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Russia, and China. These countries have had the highest retraction rates over the last two decades.

The publisher Hindawi, a London-based subsidiary of Wiley, has been responsible for most of the retractions to date. This year, the publisher has retracted over 8,000 articles due to what it believes are compromises to the peer-review process. This investigation was prompted by internal editors and research-integrity investigators who raised concerns about irrelevant references in thousands of papers, as well as incoherent text.

“In the dynamic world of scholarly publishing, researchers find themselves grappling between increasing pressures to publish and the growing vulnerability of the academic industry to systematic manipulation and fraudulent activity”, Hindawi has stated.

So now, if someone asks me to, “The Science™,” I have to ask 2 questions:

  • What science?
  • Whose science?


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We are (have been) at the point where people have to be educated sufficiently to read and understand papers on their own.

If you (or someone you trust) can’t verify the research methods and determine if the results are reasonable, then you can’t accept the paper.

Even that won’t prevent people from being deceived by manufactured data. The result is that we simply can’t take seriously any new data.

History in the making…From this day forward the idiom “to harvard” replaced the common word “plagiarism”. And students accused of copying from others would say…”Oh no I harvarded it”. “A” grades would be given to almost everyone and honest students would be looked down upon as losers.

Academics are under a tremendous amount of pressure to publish publish publish if they want to keep moving up the ladder, and it appears that lots of shortcuts have been taken. Couple this with an academic research climate where published results that fall in line with left wing orthodoxy are favored and promoted, anything counter could be the end of a career. And then couple those two with a peer review process that doesn’t do a lot of review…..and we have a recipe for a pile of garbage representing real academic research. Things are going to get bad before they get worse here….

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | January 24, 2024 at 8:02 am

Some years ago, a grad student at Harvard noticed that “teach” and “cheat” were very, very closely related – being anagrams of each other. One could say that they were almost identical.

From there, it was off to the races for Harvard. Wait until Bill Ackman’s AI army starts assaulting Harvard’s warehouses of “published research”. That’s going to be a blast. I predict Harvard tries to bring at least 3 frivolous suits over this as part of their “defense”. It could be epic.

Lucifer Morningstar | January 24, 2024 at 8:28 am

This is a good website to read about retractions in the scientific community.

And if you’re more scientifically minded you can go to the following website where they call out problematic papers.

I worked in data analysis at a teaching hospital and most doctors are clueless about statistics. We had to assign someone to interpret their data for them or they came to outrageous conclusions.

    CommoChief in reply to MattMusson. | January 24, 2024 at 9:29 am

    Yeah, it’s amazing how many otherwise smart, educated people simply don’t understand statistics. I have had conversations with friends who posses master’s, PhD and MD who kept arguing with me about a set of data. I had to do the math in front of them and show them why they were wrong. Afterwards they were chagrined and pretty cool about it but damn.

      healthguyfsu in reply to CommoChief. | January 24, 2024 at 9:12 pm

      Statistics is a mathetmatical language that requires its own fluency. It’s perfectly normal to be highly intelligent but possess expertise in a limited number of skills. It’s human nature, in fact, because of the limits of our brains and the limits of time.

      I’d argue that on large scale studies, a team should get the job done and that team should include statisticians with their own areas of expertise.

      When any one person claims to know or take credit for everything, run.

“Peer review” has become “buddy review (and approval),” which is just as bad as the government review funding process.

Morning Sunshine | January 24, 2024 at 8:49 am

I have been downright beyond skeptical at all research since I found out that HARVARD (at the time I heard about it and during the study itself, as the pinnacle of Great Research) had fudged the results of a 1960s study on sugar.

since I heard about that study, and the manipulated results, and have seen first hand the devastating results on our society, I believe very little to zero of any study. I will bring them up in conversation, but always with a caveat that a “study can be made to say anything you want it to.”

    I recall the tobacco industry funded studies on cigarette use being downright criminal.

      A Punk Named Yunk in reply to Tom M. | January 25, 2024 at 4:36 pm

      From a MAD magazine article when I was a kid: Absence notes from parents in various professions. Paraphrasing..

      Dear teacher,
      My son was absent yesterday because he had a cold. He still has it but I’m sending him to school anyway, against doctor’s advice, because there is no conclusive evidence that sneezing ever transmitted a cold to anyone.

      R. J. Reynolds, tobacco executive

This is actually worse than plagiarism.

MoeHowardwasright | January 24, 2024 at 8:57 am

I spent my entire career in medical device and medical IT. These papers are used by physicians and academics to supposedly advance medical science. Bad data has a terrible downstream effect on other projects that base their research on faulty papers. I’ve worked for companies that forced you to present papers to Physicians that had a cohort of less than 20. Utter garbage. But because they paid the research Physician it had to be used. The sad fact is that medical IT has vast amounts of data to mine for better research, but it’s rarely used because each hospital system claim’s proprietary rights. I’m not advocating for a national data base, just access to qualified researchers. FJB

So is Sleeper about to come true:?

Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called “wheat germ, organic honey and tiger’s milk.”
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or… hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy… precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.

I predict that Claudine’s invites to the “right” cocktail parties will be drying up forthwith. Thanks to her and only her, Harvard is now under the microscope.

Nothing attracts sharks like blood in the water, and an unqualified diversity hire is a hemorrhage waiting to happen.

Previously to Covid and DEI science institutions were held in high esteem and trust by the public. Their reputations have now been sullied and may not recover. We trusted that their members were above reproach only to discover they are no better than scoundrels wearing lab coats.

    A Punk Named Yunk in reply to kjon. | January 25, 2024 at 4:39 pm

    > Their reputations have now been sullied and may not recover.
    That is probably better for a free society A combination of playing chicken and a card game I recall, named “I doubt you”.

If falsifying data doesn’t constitute misconduct at Harvard, you have to wonder if anything constitutes misconduct at Harvard.

Hey, they were just following their president’s sterling example.

Wow. For Dana Farber to retract papers is a huge thing. The NCCN (National Cancer Care Network) issues treatment guidelines which, in common parlance, are considered the “bible” of cancer treatment in those malignancies covered—whether solid tumor or hematologic. Reimbursement and legal decisions revolve around those guidelines. Dana Farber is considered a key institution in the development of those guidelines, and if those studies were falsified or flawed, real people suffered and financial and legal harm was done—at least from my medical perspective. I don’t practice in either oncology or hematology, however everyone in medicine knows the NCCN and Dana Farber’s influence over it. They are going to have a lot of explaining to do come the meetings of the different societies during “convention” season coming up in Spring thru Fall.