Now that the paper published in The Lancet, on the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, has been retracted, we need to look at how eminence continues to trump evidence. When we talk about humans and their behavior, everything is political.
Scientists are generally regarded as ethical and honest – the polar opposite of politicians. But there's a disturbing trend taking place in the scientific community: retracted papers, often due to fraud. This one, which appeared in the journal Science, focuses on harm to fish from tiny plastic particles. It is a doozy.
Recently an important paper — one which had the potential to revolutionize the treatment of type 1 diabetes — was retracted because its results could not be replicated. Far from being a negative incident, this is the way that science should be done.
A paper published two years ago focusing on the link between gut bacteria and obesity was recently retracted from the publication Diabetes for intentionally falsifying and fabricating data. Not only does this unethical behavior tarnish the credibility of science in general, it also wastes the time, energy and resources of researchers who are attempting to build off of current literature.