Trust me, I'm a scientist (and not an advertising exec or journalist)

Kit.

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Apr 25, 2011
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And to Kit:
If you really mean "I'm personally interested in people stopped spreading FUD about scientists", then keep an open mind.
The mere fact that someone is a scientist (or claims to be one) does not make him a saint.
Sometimes even scientists have other motives than an academic discussion. Or is that so hard to grasp?
I know that "we" scientists are not angels. But we are not talking about morals or motives. We are talking about professional trustworthiness.

I'm still waiting for the actual references supporting your claims of "ample evidence that many, many scientists were quite willing to bend and distort the truth".
 
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neuroanatomist

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I must have really hit an open nerve here when even neuro steps in to support bashing me.
Apparently you believe ‘bashing you’ comprises someone asking you to provide evidence you stated that you have at hand, which is telling.

Of course there is shoddy science done, and much of the research published is not reproducible (although corruption is not a terribly common reason for that). The ‘open nerve’ here is the irony in your refusal to provide evidence to support your accusations of malfeasance in science, a field where citing appropriate documentation is standard practice.
 
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Only 23% believe Pollsters! Most people believe polls only if they tell them what they already believe.

Since this was a poll done by pollsters, only 23% of us are supposed to believe it.
 
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Jeez. While I believe in science and what it can achieve I don't know how scientists as a group can be the most trusted. Way too Long a history of scientists twisting and fudging results and facts for money. Pharmaceuticals are a good example for instance. Fact is, regardless of what demographic you are referring to, that group of is made up of human beings. And most human beings are corruptable to some degree(some more, some less). The more power or potential profit any given position holds, the more corruptable those in that position are likely to be. My rule is trust your dog. Trust a crocodile and never trust a person untill they have proven their trustworthiness to you beyond a shadow of a doubt.
 

Michael Clark

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Apr 5, 2016
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For several decades, many and many scientists from several areas of expertise have been telling us that smoking was no problem for your health. And at those points in time they all had the research and names to back their claims.

The big law suits all over the world, but in particular the US, have shown ample evidence that many, many scientists were quite willing to bend and distort the truth. They did so in the same way over and over again: publish the manipulated results of 'research' and spread that, together with their own good name to get these false claims accepted by unsuspecting people.
The incentive forthese scientists was also always the same: the Tobacco industry donated richly for their research, either to them in person or to their universities.

In fact these scientists were quite willing to sell their soul to the highest bidder.

I see no proof, or even reason, why that would have changed for the better in recent years.

Just saying ............. :)

It's not just smoking. It's diet and drugs that make Doctors and scientists studying them rich. As always, follow the money.


“The American Medical Association at first opposed the
commercialization of the lipid hypothesis,” Enig reports, “ and warned
that “the anti-fat, anti-cholesterol fad is not just foolish and
futile. . . it also carries some risk.” The American Heart Association,
however, was committed. In 1961 the AHA published its first dietary
guidelines aimed at the public.”

No doubt many researchers at the AHA were sincere. But it is worth
noting that ultimately the AHA would find a way to turn the War Against
Cholesterol into a profitable cottage industry.

You’ve probably seen the AHA’s “heart check” logo on numerous food
products. No surprise, they don’t give them out for free. Food
manufacturers pay a first-year fee of $7,500 per product, with
subsequent renewals priced at $4,500 according to Steve Millay, a
biostatician, lawyer and adjunct scholar at the conservative Cato
Institute, who posted about this on “junk science” in 2001.

“There’s gold in the AHA’s credibility,” Milloy observed. “Several
hundred products now carry the heart-check logo. You do the math.
Adding insult to injury, consumers pay up for the more expensive brands
that can afford to dance with the AHA. Pricey Tropicana grapefruit
juice is ‘heart healthy’ but supermarket bargain brand grapefruit juice
isn’t?”

It wasn’t until 1987, when Merck produced the first statin, that the
pharmaceutical industry began to get in on the action. But when it
joined the party, it began to spread the money around, not only by
advertising, but by paying well-placed cardiologists “consulting fees.”

Which led to this:


“The letter we sent to the NHLBI also called for an independent panel
to review the evidence,” Goozner notes, “since the NLHBI panel that
made the recommendations had been dominated by physicians with ties to
statin manufacturers.” Indeed, the National Institutes of Health later
admitted that eight of the nine experts on the panel had received
financing from one or more of the companies that make statins. (None
of the panelists had publicly disclosed their ties to manufacturers
when they made their recommendations.)

Just how much “financing” were the panelists receiving? According to the LA Times,
from 2001 to 2003 Dr Bryan Brewer, a leader at the National Institutes
of Health, and “part of the team that gave the nation new cholesterol
guidelines in 2004” had accepted “about $114,000 in consulting fees
from four companies making or developing the cholesterol-lowering
drugs.

But “this is relative peanuts compared to Dr P. Trey Sunderland III, a
senior psychiatric researcher at the NIH, who took $508,500 in fees
from Pfizer, Inc. whilst collaborating with them, and endorsing their
drug [Lipitor],” says Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, who is a member of The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS)– a growing group of scientists, physicians, other academicians and science writers from various countries.

Dr. Abramson, who is a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School,
charges that the study that accompanied the updated 2004 guidelines
“knowingly misrepresented the results of the clinical trials that they
supposedly relied upon to formulate their recommendations. The problem
is that the experts claimed to rely on scientific evidence, but they
act as if empowered to ignore the evidence when it is not consistent
with their beliefs.”

This is a serious allegation. Keep in mind that statins are the most
popular drugs in the history of human medicine. World-wide sales
totaled $33 billion in 2007. More than 18 million American now take
them.

Nevertheless, “medical research suggests that only about 40 percent to
50 percent of that number are likely to benefit,” says Abramson. “The
other 8 or 9 million are exposed to the risks that come with taking
statins –which can include severe muscle pain, memory loss, sexual
dysfunction — and one study shows increased risk of cancer in the
elderly– but there are no studies to show that the drugs will protect
these patients against fatal heart attacks.”
 
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AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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It's not just smoking. It's diet and drugs that make Doctors and scientists studying them rich. As always, follow the money.


“The American Medical Association at first opposed the
commercialization of the lipid hypothesis,” Enig reports, “ and warned
that “the anti-fat, anti-cholesterol fad is not just foolish and
futile. . . it also carries some risk.” The American Heart Association,
however, was committed. In 1961 the AHA published its first dietary
guidelines aimed at the public.”

No doubt many researchers at the AHA were sincere. But it is worth
noting that ultimately the AHA would find a way to turn the War Against
Cholesterol into a profitable cottage industry.

You’ve probably seen the AHA’s “heart check” logo on numerous food
products. No surprise, they don’t give them out for free. Food
manufacturers pay a first-year fee of $7,500 per product, with
subsequent renewals priced at $4,500 according to Steve Millay, a
biostatician, lawyer and adjunct scholar at the conservative Cato
Institute, who posted about this on “junk science” in 2001.

“There’s gold in the AHA’s credibility,” Milloy observed. “Several
hundred products now carry the heart-check logo. You do the math.
Adding insult to injury, consumers pay up for the more expensive brands
that can afford to dance with the AHA. Pricey Tropicana grapefruit
juice is ‘heart healthy’ but supermarket bargain brand grapefruit juice
isn’t?”

It wasn’t until 1987, when Merck produced the first statin, that the
pharmaceutical industry began to get in on the action. But when it
joined the party, it began to spread the money around, not only by
advertising, but by paying well-placed cardiologists “consulting fees.”

Which led to this:


“The letter we sent to the NHLBI also called for an independent panel
to review the evidence,” Goozner notes, “since the NLHBI panel that
made the recommendations had been dominated by physicians with ties to
statin manufacturers.” Indeed, the National Institutes of Health later
admitted that eight of the nine experts on the panel had received
financing from one or more of the companies that make statins. (None
of the panelists had publicly disclosed their ties to manufacturers
when they made their recommendations.)

Just how much “financing” were the panelists receiving? According to the LA Times,
from 2001 to 2003 Dr Bryan Brewer, a leader at the National Institutes
of Health, and “part of the team that gave the nation new cholesterol
guidelines in 2004” had accepted “about $114,000 in consulting fees
from four companies making or developing the cholesterol-lowering
drugs.

But “this is relative peanuts compared to Dr P. Trey Sunderland III, a
senior psychiatric researcher at the NIH, who took $508,500 in fees
from Pfizer, Inc. whilst collaborating with them, and endorsing their
drug [Lipitor],” says Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, who is a member of The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS)– a growing group of scientists, physicians, other academicians and science writers from various countries.

Dr. Abramson, who is a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School,
charges that the study that accompanied the updated 2004 guidelines
“knowingly misrepresented the results of the clinical trials that they
supposedly relied upon to formulate their recommendations. The problem
is that the experts claimed to rely on scientific evidence, but they
act as if empowered to ignore the evidence when it is not consistent
with their beliefs.”

This is a serious allegation. Keep in mind that statins are the most
popular drugs in the history of human medicine. World-wide sales
totaled $33 billion in 2007. More than 18 million American now take
them.

Nevertheless, “medical research suggests that only about 40 percent to
50 percent of that number are likely to benefit,” says Abramson. “The
other 8 or 9 million are exposed to the risks that come with taking
statins –which can include severe muscle pain, memory loss, sexual
dysfunction — and one study shows increased risk of cancer in the
elderly– but there are no studies to show that the drugs will protect
these patients against fatal heart attacks.”
You have just written about doctors, who are trusted by about 56%, and statins, which apparently benefit about 40-50%! Perhaps, those fortunate 50% are the ones who are doing the trusting? All medications from aspirin to antibiotics to chemotherapy carry the risk of side effects. And it’s those plus sanitation that are responsible for the huge increase in life expectancy and the large number of aged photographers in CR.
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Jeez. While I believe in science and what it can achieve I don't know how scientists as a group can be the most trusted. Way too Long a history of scientists twisting and fudging results and facts for money. Pharmaceuticals are a good example for instance. Fact is, regardless of what demographic you are referring to, that group of is made up of human beings. And most human beings are corruptable to some degree(some more, some less). The more power or potential profit any given position holds, the more corruptable those in that position are likely to be. My rule is trust your dog. Trust a crocodile and never trust a person untill they have proven their trustworthiness to you beyond a shadow of a doubt.
So, which groups in the list do you trust the most? These are only opinions, remember, and everyone is entitled to theirs.
 
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neuroanatomist

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Jul 21, 2010
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@Michael Clark What do you think the sinister AHA, a non-profit organization, is doing with all their ill-gotten gains extorted from buyers of Tropicana juice and Cheerios? :unsure:
 
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On that list! Police and armed forces. I may not always agree with where they are told to go or what they are told to do but the rank of and file of those organizations are just pawns who are willing to risk all to protect society. The upper echelons of course are a different kettle of fish and have to be taken with a heavy dose of salt due to that influence of money and power that I mentioned.
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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UK Supreme Court Judges 11 - Boris Johnson 0
will change or confirm some peoples opinions of judges.
 

sdz

EOS RP
Sep 13, 2016
253
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Pittsburgh, PA
It's not just smoking. It's diet and drugs that make Doctors and scientists studying them rich. As always, follow the money.


“The American Medical Association at first opposed the
commercialization of the lipid hypothesis,” Enig reports, “ and warned
that “the anti-fat, anti-cholesterol fad is not just foolish and
futile. . . it also carries some risk.” The American Heart Association,
however, was committed. In 1961 the AHA published its first dietary
guidelines aimed at the public.”

No doubt many researchers at the AHA were sincere. But it is worth
noting that ultimately the AHA would find a way to turn the War Against
Cholesterol into a profitable cottage industry.

You’ve probably seen the AHA’s “heart check” logo on numerous food
products. No surprise, they don’t give them out for free. Food
manufacturers pay a first-year fee of $7,500 per product, with
subsequent renewals priced at $4,500 according to Steve Millay, a
biostatician, lawyer and adjunct scholar at the conservative Cato
Institute, who posted about this on “junk science” in 2001.

“There’s gold in the AHA’s credibility,” Milloy observed. “Several
hundred products now carry the heart-check logo. You do the math.
Adding insult to injury, consumers pay up for the more expensive brands
that can afford to dance with the AHA. Pricey Tropicana grapefruit
juice is ‘heart healthy’ but supermarket bargain brand grapefruit juice
isn’t?”

It wasn’t until 1987, when Merck produced the first statin, that the
pharmaceutical industry began to get in on the action. But when it
joined the party, it began to spread the money around, not only by
advertising, but by paying well-placed cardiologists “consulting fees.”

Which led to this:


“The letter we sent to the NHLBI also called for an independent panel
to review the evidence,” Goozner notes, “since the NLHBI panel that
made the recommendations had been dominated by physicians with ties to
statin manufacturers.” Indeed, the National Institutes of Health later
admitted that eight of the nine experts on the panel had received
financing from one or more of the companies that make statins. (None
of the panelists had publicly disclosed their ties to manufacturers
when they made their recommendations.)

Just how much “financing” were the panelists receiving? According to the LA Times,
from 2001 to 2003 Dr Bryan Brewer, a leader at the National Institutes
of Health, and “part of the team that gave the nation new cholesterol
guidelines in 2004” had accepted “about $114,000 in consulting fees
from four companies making or developing the cholesterol-lowering
drugs.

But “this is relative peanuts compared to Dr P. Trey Sunderland III, a
senior psychiatric researcher at the NIH, who took $508,500 in fees
from Pfizer, Inc. whilst collaborating with them, and endorsing their
drug [Lipitor],” says Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, who is a member of The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS)– a growing group of scientists, physicians, other academicians and science writers from various countries.

Dr. Abramson, who is a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School,
charges that the study that accompanied the updated 2004 guidelines
“knowingly misrepresented the results of the clinical trials that they
supposedly relied upon to formulate their recommendations. The problem
is that the experts claimed to rely on scientific evidence, but they
act as if empowered to ignore the evidence when it is not consistent
with their beliefs.”

This is a serious allegation. Keep in mind that statins are the most
popular drugs in the history of human medicine. World-wide sales
totaled $33 billion in 2007. More than 18 million American now take
them.

Nevertheless, “medical research suggests that only about 40 percent to
50 percent of that number are likely to benefit,” says Abramson. “The
other 8 or 9 million are exposed to the risks that come with taking
statins –which can include severe muscle pain, memory loss, sexual
dysfunction — and one study shows increased risk of cancer in the
elderly– but there are no studies to show that the drugs will protect
these patients against fatal heart attacks.”

As Alan F pointed out, scientific practice is self-correcting. What counts as true is the consensus opinion which can emerge only after qualified scientists hash out the relevant evidence and conjectures. Thus, we know that a super-majority of climate scientists affirm the climate change thesis. This established fact does not mean the deniers lack integrity or are incompetent. What it does mean to the deneying lay-person is that they ought to examine the source of their disbelief because most of those qualified to judge the matter believe otherwise. It is rational for the lay-person to confidently choose to believe the consensus opinion of the scientists.
 

Aussie shooter

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As Alan F pointed out, scientific practice is self-correcting. What counts as true is the consensus opinion which can emerge only after qualified scientists hash out the relevant evidence and conjectures. Thus, we know that a super-majority of climate scientists affirm the climate change thesis. This established fact does not mean the deniers lack integrity or are incompetent. What it does mean to the deneying lay-person is that they ought to examine the source of their disbelief because most of those qualified to judge the matter believe otherwise. It is rational for the lay-person to confidently choose to believe the consensus opinion of the scientists.
Tbh honest though. What all that actually means is that science(over time) is inherently trustworthy. But science is not scientists. Any given individual, regardless of their path in life is equally likely to be corruptable in the right situation. So for scientists things like Grant money is the big temptation. And we all know that it Is not a rare event for data to be 'tweaked in order to produce a conclusion that will keep a scientist employed for another couple of years. Over time of course the science will weed out the dodgy individuals but that doesn't mean that a scientist is any more trustworthy than anyone else. As I alluded to before. Trust only those who have nothing to gain(and nothing to lose).
 
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neuroanatomist

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As I alluded to before. Trust only those who have nothing to gain(and nothing to lose).
giphy.gif
 
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AlanF

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On that list! Police and armed forces. I may not always agree with where they are told to go or what they are told to do but the rank of and file of those organizations are just pawns who are willing to risk all to protect society. The upper echelons of course are a different kettle of fish and have to be taken with a heavy dose of salt due to that influence of money and power that I mentioned.
Our police and armed forces are on the whole a good bunch too. But, you might not think so on a wider international scale if you lived in Hong Kong, various Arab countries etc.
 
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AlanF

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Tbh honest though. What all that actually means is that science(over time) is inherently trustworthy. But science is not scientists. Any given individual, regardless of their path in life is equally likely to be corruptable in the right situation. So for scientists things like Grant money is the big temptation. And we all know that it Is not a rare event for data to be 'tweaked in order to produce a conclusion that will keep a scientist employed for another couple of years. Over time of course the science will weed out the dodgy individuals but that doesn't mean that a scientist is any more trustworthy than anyone else. As I alluded to before. Trust only those who have nothing to gain(and nothing to lose).
The primary aim of most scientists is to pursue science for its own sake whereas the primary goal in some, but by no means all, other activities is to make money, and make money by any means or exercise power. Some scientists may be corrupted and even dishonest, and some are incompetent but the goal is the pursuit of truth and those who let the side down are not the mainstream. And similar worthy goals apply to people who work in many other activities as well.
 
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Jeez. While I believe in science and what it can achieve I don't know how scientists as a group can be the most trusted. Way too Long a history of scientists twisting and fudging results and facts for money. Pharmaceuticals are a good example for instance. Fact is, regardless of what demographic you are referring to, that group of is made up of human beings. And most human beings are corruptable to some degree(some more, some less). The more power or potential profit any given position holds, the more corruptable those in that position are likely to be. My rule is trust your dog. Trust a crocodile and never trust a person untill they have proven their trustworthiness to you beyond a shadow of a doubt.
I think that the number of actual scientists who twist things is relatively small, perhaps a few hundred out of a huge number. There are, in fact, a group of people who make a very good living as expert witnesses. They are basically people who have a talent to seem truthful, and to present information in a clear, simple, and beliveable fashion. Having impeccable credentials is mandatory, but they have to simplify the facts for the public and know how to work with attorneys to omit facts that may conflict with what they present. The best ones have a long waiting list of clients. I know one retired police officer who made a fair living by testifying in court about the mundane facts involving auto accidents, calculating likely speed based on skid marks, weather, type of pavement, etc. If you wanted to show that the party was or was not speeding, you hired him to testify. If his facts did not support your case, you paid him and sent him on his way, he never testified.

Most Scientists work in the trenches and do not appear on TV Commercials or in trials where they get paid for their story telling expertise. I worked for a large company which had a very large number of engineers and scientists. I was not aware of any of them appearing in TV Commercials, but some may have been forced to testify in court.

One who worked for me did get interviewed for a Newspaper article investigating a whistle blower claim. His approach was to bring the reporter into the lab and show him everything about the product, including the failures induced in the lab and how they were done. (The whistle blower was a lab tech who did not understand that testing parts to destruction in a lab meant they were unsafe). The reporter was impressed by his openness and willingness to cooperate and show how the failure in the lab led to a modified product. What was going to be a critical article became a positive one because no information was held back by the Scientist.
 
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