Monthly Archives: September 2014

Scientific Lies

This Blog of mine has and is changing direction – first it is a learning curve for me, one that does not require feedback as it is for and by me.

 

Second it is a kind of therapy for me – no really close soul friends so this will have to do.

 

 

Today ive been hearing on the news about information sent to doctors about various products – medicines – and how the producers of these brochures are lying – in the terms of the news – misleading information – still cant use that word (a little indication of things to come or things that are already here?)

 

We rely on this, the same as we rely on scientific information – what are the penalties for lying? As far as i can ascertain – there are none – you can lie to your hearts content – the only thing that will trip you up is the «invisible» trust that people have.

 

This is all fine and dandy – we are becoming less naive, but what is it costing us in terms of things that do not affect us directly but indirectly such as environmental information? What happens when a big company lies about what effect it is having on the environment, on our lives.

 

One such thing is cropping up now here on the west coast of Norway – well, not really the west coast, but further North.

 

North of Trondheim the coast has been plagued for many years by the predations of sea urchins – they have been destroying the seaweed in large amounts and according to a recent article – costing up to 14 million kroner a year in lost revenue. So why is large scale commercial seaweed harvesting being allowed there the minute the depredations begin to ease?

Lets be a bit clearer – the sea urchins are costing the local economy vast sums in lost revenue, but scraping the bottom of the sea with 3 meter wide dredges is not??

 

Just a few days ago Oslo University turned down a large grant for research, the reason was that the givers of the grant included in their contract the right to alter the results if necessary. Oslo university turned it down.

 

The body concerned was one of the sports anti doping organizations – the research was to find out if the body could memorize muscle structure – so that if you used anabolic steroids for instance, then stopped using them, your body would remember and build muscles again in the same way if required. If the result was a yes one could see the effect it would have so perhaps it was not entirely unreasonable to suggest the results could be altered – however science is science and we should all have SOMETHING that we can trust, no matter what – but the simple fact is that a major sports body felt it could ask scientists to lie, to use their reputation to enforce a lie.

In itself its a clear cut case but does it have a deeper meaning, is it really so that a important major sports body presumably with every kind of connection and expectation could expect a major university to use its reputation to enforce a lie.

They dont make mistakes like that.

It must be common then – are we really being lied to by major research institutions – who can we trust, who can we rely on???