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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Friday afternoon’s funny – PI Action figure0

Posted by Admin in on March 20, 2020
 

Cartoon by Don Mayne www.researchcartoons.com
Full-size image for printing (right mouse click and save file)

Sometimes the different roles and special skills we demand of investigators do seem apt for an action figure from the 1980s.

(Europe) Science shouldn’t be for sale – we need reform to industry-funded studies to keep people safe – The Guardian (Carey Gillam0

Posted by Admin in on March 3, 2020
 

We must be able to trust the integrity of scientific research as we work to protect our families and our planet

Not again. News out of Europe last week revealed that more than 20 scientific studies submitted to regulators to prove the safety of the popular weedkilling chemical glyphosate came from a large German laboratory that has been accused of fraud and other wrongdoing.

The issues in play here are not abstract or hypothetical.  They touch on public safety and the public’s faith in science.

The findings come amid global debate over whether or not glyphosate causes cancer and other health problems and if regulators and chemical companies proclaiming the chemical’s safety actually have credible science on their side.Amid a government investigation into the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT), investigators representing three European non-profit consumer advocacy groups are raising concerns about the validity of the glyphosate studies generated by the Hamburg facility. No significant concerns with glyphosate were found, according to the tests, three of which looked for glyphosate-related mutagenicity. Monsanto and other chemical companies needed those studies and others to submit to regulators in order to obtain re-approval to sell glyphosate herbicide products in Europe.
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Amid a government investigation into the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT), investigators representing three European non-profit consumer advocacy groups are raising concerns about the validity of the glyphosate studies generated by the Hamburg facility. No significant concerns with glyphosate were found, according to the tests, three of which looked for glyphosate-related mutagenicity. Monsanto and other chemical companies needed those studies and others to submit to regulators in order to obtain re-approval to sell glyphosate herbicide products in Europe.
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(US) Texas A&M chancellor fires back at Harvard over criticism of controversial beef study – The Texas Tribune (Sami Sparber | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on February 29, 2020
 

John Sharp sent Harvard’s president an open letter calling for an investigation into Harvard scientists whose actions he said “are false and harmful to Texas A&M University and its faculty.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that a Texas A&M researcher received funding from a beef industry-backed program for research separate from the study on the risks of eating red meat.

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp called out Harvard on Wednesday after some Harvard faculty alleged that Texas A&M food scientists are beholden to the beef industry.

Sharp fired back with an open letter urging Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow to investigate faculty who he says “mischaracterized scientific research and falsely accused Texas A&M scientists of selling out to industry interests.”

The accusations against scientists at A&M — the leading agriculture school in the nation’s largest beef-producing state — coincide with an emerging scientific dispute over the health benefits of curtailing meat consumption. And A&M is pushing back hard in defense of its researchers.

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Rude paper reviews are pervasive and sometimes harmful, study find – Science (Christie Wilcox | December 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on December 26, 2019
 

There’s a running joke in academia about Reviewer 2. That’s the reviewer that doesn’t bother to read the manuscript a journal has sent out for evaluation for possible publication, offers condescending or outright offensive comments, and—of course—urges the irrelevant citation of their own work. Such unprofessional conduct is so pervasive there’s even a whole Facebook group, more than 25,000 members strong, named “Reviewer 2 Must Be Stopped!” But it is no laughing matter, concludes a new study that finds boorish reviewer comments can have serious negative impacts, especially on authors belonging to marginalized groups.

Peer reviewers are supposed to ensure that journals publish high-quality science by evaluating manuscripts and offering suggestions for improvement. But often, referee comments stray far from that mission, found the new PeerJ study, which surveyed 1106 scientists from 46 countries and 14 disciplines. More than half of the respondents—who were promised anonymity—reported receiving at least one “unprofessional” review, and a majority of those said they had received multiple problematic comments.

Those comments tended to personally target a scientist, lack constructive criticism, or were just unnecessarily harsh or cruel, the authors report. For example, one author received a review that stated: “The phrases I have so far avoided using in this review are ‘lipstick on a pig’ and ‘bullshit baffles brains.’” Another reported receiving this missive: “The author’s last name sounds Spanish. I didn’t read the manuscript because I’m sure it’s full of bad English.”

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