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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Can You Blow the Whistle on Bullshit?

In the Baltimore Case, Margot O'Toole, found she was unable to reproduce some of the reported results in her own experimental mice. Her attempts to resolve the problem with her immediate boss, Dr. Thereza Imanishi-Kari, led O'Toole to suspect defects or errors in the original research. Her doubts seemed to be confirmed when inspection of laboratory notebooks revealed discrepancies with the published results. Apparently fobbed off by Imanishi-Kari, with whom there was obviously a major personality clash, O'Toole felt affronted that her superiors appeared to show so little commitment to the fearless pursuit of scientific truth to which they paid lip service. She made her suspicions public and turned whistle-blower.

If you are gay, over 40, female, of a minority race or in some other protected class, there are laws that prevent you from the harassment Margot O'Toole experienced. Margot O'Tool left the biological sciences for many years after blowing the whistle on Baltimore and Imanishi-Kari.

What if there was a court of law that would hear your case against scientific bullshit. By bullshit I mean anywhere from honestly mistaken to fraud. The only issue of the court would be the truth. Credentials would not be allowed. The protected class would be those who are speaking the truth.

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