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Scientific Integrity

Dr. Neville Thomas Jones, Ph.D.

There are two aspects to what is often termed 'pure scientific research'. First and foremost is the source of funding, for without that the second part, namely the actual investigation, would never be performed. This, in turn, leads to three areas where the work can be either attacked or supported, depending upon the critic's own bias and also upon the quality of the researcher or his team.

One can accept or reject the results and conclusions. If based upon sound scientific reasoning, then this is the strongest option. Failing that, the benefactor could be put in for scrutiny. Or, if there is a very serious warlock-hunt going on, one might be forced to dredge the barrel and opt for the last resort the supposed conflict of interest as the British Government did (as of late 2003 / early 2004) with Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his research into the possible link between autism and the MMR vaccine.

That The Lancet published Dr. Wakefield's findings shows that the method, results and conclusions of Dr. Wakefield were fully refereed by several experts in that field, before acceptance by what is one of the main medical journals in the world. It is very strange that the editor of The Lancet should then claim that if he had known that a 'conflict of interest' had existed, then the paper would not have been accepted for publication. Research papers do not have to mention who commissioned the work and, indeed, if 'conflict of interest' were a problem then virtually nothing would ever be published anywhere. One serious proposition to be considered, though, is that the British Government was bringing extreme pressure to bear on The Lancet, much as it has consistently done with the BBC and the British national press.

As regards scientific research in general, there is a ruling paradigm which is present within all walks of life. That ruling paradigm within the so-called 'educated' world is the idea that the cosmos came into being itself and by chance. This notion, which steers people away from God, can be quite hidden away in otherwise straightforward items and presentations.

In the sciences, though, it is not hidden at all. To progress along your chosen career path requires that 'towing the party line' takes absolute precedence over free speech, or even free thought. Furthermore, one is expected to have one's name on as many papers as possible (I once saw a paper from an American research group, where the front page of the paper consisted of nothing more than the title and a list of names - it must have been the entire physics department). The quality of such work cannot be directly proportional to the quantity produced; rather, it seems likely that it is inversely proportional to it.

The conflict of interest is almost always present, because clearly the governmental, environmental or commercial entity that is providing the money considers itself owed something in return. Scientific integrity is therefore routinely sacrificed upon the high altar of the ruling, atheistic paradigm.