Bill Frezza looks at an unanticipated consequence of pouring more government money into the sciences:
Science and the scientific method are the jewels in the crown of Western civilization. The ascertainment of facts, construction of reproducible experiments, development of falsifiable theories, impartial training and meritocratic advancement of practitioners, and — most importantly — integrity of the publication process by which a well established body of truth can be confidently assembled all underpin the respect accorded to science by the citizenry. In modern times, this respect translates into tax dollars.
Unfortunately, today those tax dollars are corrupting the process. Unprecedented billions are doled out by unaccountable federal and state bureaucracies run by and for the benefit of a closed guild of practitioners. This has created a moral hazard to scientific integrity no less threatening than the moral hazard to financial integrity that recently destroyed our banking system.
According to a report in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, nearly two-thirds of the experimental results published in peer-reviewed journals could not be reproduced in Bayer’s labs. The latest special issue of Science is devoted to the growing problem of irreproducibility. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amgen, Pfizer, and others have abandoned research programs after spending hundreds of millions pursuing academic research that could never be replicated.
H/T again to Monty for the link.