19 APRIL (ARGENTINA) – The fact that politics, incompetence and corruption have replaced scientific integrity is nothing new. Researchers like C. Glenn Begley and John Ioannidis have described how junk science permeates publishied reports, which has led indirectly to efforts like Timothy Gowers boycott against publishing giant Elsevier.
After wasting billions of dollars in the bogus research, development and marketing of useless or dangerous products, scientists have reported the dangers of body scanners and the risks associated with drugs like Tamiflu and statins. But because the drug industry generates billion of dollars in profits by producing drugs and vaccines that kill or injure millions of people around the world annually, there is little incentive for corporations that fund agencies like the World Trade Organization (WTO) to change their ways. When CEOs and politicians weigh “shareholder value” against human rights, humanity typically loses.
The linkage between knowledge and democracy has much to do with how international funding is directed toward patients, students and researchers. Cultural deals are characterized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as “tradable goods.” Rather than supporting personal rights or the social good, they stress the mercantilization and corruption of culture on a global basis in the slow conversion of Western science into “junk science.” Statements about this erosion have been issued at the Integrity of Scientific Research conferences held at Singapore (2010) and Brussels (2011) as an extreme danger to freedom, the economy, and the future of mankind (Drenth, 2009). (Spanish link)
In Argentina, problems related to this corruption were recently revealed in legal documents and reports by CONICET Researcher Eduardo R. Saguier, Ph.D., who discloses revelations about how funding is wastefully distributed in Argentina, thereby crippling education and scientific progress. Like the proverbial canary in the cave, his report offers a warning to all people who live in the world’s gradually declining democracies.