Fake news has become a hot topic recently. As we have focused on the news reporting and dissemination, it has become clear drawing a line between fake and authentic information can be a challenge. Even ivory tower science has spawned its own versions of less-than-objective public outreach.
How many times have we seen stories of breakthroughs and possible cures for dread conditions like Alzheimer’s disease? This is not necessarily fraud, but may be due to exuberance and a tendency to extrapolate a few positive results with extreme optimism. Scientists are working to achieve goals and they can get excited when it seems their efforts are succeeding. Cutting edge work often demands substantial financial support and obtaining publicity can be an important factor in keeping the money lifeline open. When you get something good you exploit it.
The publication of scientific results serves a dual purpose; dissemination of knowledge and demonstration…
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