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Fudging the Data

Science misconduct claims are on the rise, reports Gigi Douban from NPR News' All Things Considered. David Wright, the director of the US Federal Office of Research Integrity, tells her that his office received more than 400 allegations of misconduct last year.

Douban notes that there are a number of possibilities for this apparent rise in science fakery. Tools like Photoshop make it easier to doctor images, while other forensic tools may make it easier to spot faked data. In addition, there are more and larger collaborative research teams, which may make assigning responsibility more difficult, but it also means that there are more eyes on the data.

"Scientists are not better members of the general public," Michael Kalichman, the director of the Research Ethics Program at the University of California, San Diego, tells Douban. "There are people in science who will be sloppy, who will cut corners and who, worse, will intentionally mislead."