Apr. 10th, 2009

violachic: (Abbie Hoffman)
I've seen this around quite a bit lately, and it is more than past time for me to repost it here:


Notice is hereby given that the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and the Assistant Secretary for Health have taken final action in the following case:
Robert B. Fogel, M.D., Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital: Based on information that the Respondent volunteered to his former mentor on November 7, 2006, and detailed in a written admission on September 19, 2007, and ORI's review of Joint Inquiry and Investigation reports by Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) found that Dr. Robert B. Fogel, former Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Physician at HMS, and former CoDirector of the Fellowship in Sleep Medicine at BWH, engaged in scientific misconduct in research supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), awards P50 HL60292, R01 HL48531, K23 HL04400, and F32 HL10246, and National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), NIH, award M01 RR02635.

PHS found that Respondent engaged in scientific misconduct by falsifying and fabricating baseline data from a study of sleep apnea in severely obese patients published in the following paper: Fogel, R.B., Malhotra, A., Dalagiorgou, G., Robinson, M.K., Jakab, M., Kikinis, R., Pittman, S.D., and White, D.P. ``Anatomic and physiologic predictors of apnea severity in morbidly obese subjects.'' Sleep 2:150155, 2003 (hereafter referred to as the ``Sleep paper''); and in a preliminary abstract reporting on this work.
Specifically, PHS found that for the data reported in the Sleep paper, the Respondent:

- Changed/falsified roughly half of the physiologic data
- Fabricated roughly 20% of the anatomic data that were supposedly obtained from Computed Tomography (CT) images
- Changed/falsified 50 to 80 percent of the other anatomic data
- Changed/falsified roughly 40 to 50 percent of the sleep data so that those data would better conform to his hypothesis.

Respondent also published some of the falsified and fabricated data in an abstract in Sleep 24, Abstract Supplement A7, 2001.

Dr. Fogel has entered into a Voluntary Settlement Agreement in which he has voluntarily agreed, for a period of three (3) years, beginning on March 16, 2009:
(1) To exclude himself from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS, including but not limited to service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant; (2) That any institution that submits an application for PHS support for a research project on which the Respondent's participation is proposed or that uses the Respondent in any capacity on PHS supported research, or that submits a report of PHSfunded research in which the Respondent is involved, must concurrently submit a plan for supervision of the Respondent's duties to the funding agency for approval; the supervisory plan must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of the Respondent's research contribution; a copy of the supervisory plan must also be submitted to ORI by
[[Page 14991]]
the institution; the Respondent agrees that he will not participate in any PHSsupported research until such a supervisory plan is submitted to ORI; and
(3) To ensure that any institution employing him submits, in conjunction with each application for PHS funds or report, manuscript, or abstract of PHSfunded research in which the Respondent is involved, a certification that the data provided by the Respondent are based on actual experiments or are otherwise legitimately derived and that the data, procedures, and methodology are accurately reported in the application or report. The Respondent must ensure that the institution sends the certification to ORI.

If you are having trouble reading through the legal mumbo-jumbo, it boils down to this:

Some fucker falsified his data about sleep apnea studies on very obese patients so it would fit his own hypothesis that weight causes sleep apnea.

Not only is this a huge slap in the face for fat activism, but I imagine also really fucks up data for people who really do suffer from sleep apnea, obese or not.

Thank you, medical establishment, for coming through one more time! /sarcasm
violachic: (Default)
You know, I was extremely skeptical when I heard there was a new Star Trek movie coming out, way back when. I grew more so when I heard that it was J.J. Abrams directing, and almost dropped the whole subject altogether when I read that he admitted that he'd never been "a fan of Star Trek".

But slowly, J.J. started to win me back, as I began to read things- even spoilers- about the movie. In fact, when I read about the biggest spoiler- which I won't reveal, don't worry- I was actually excited about the direction he might take this, even if there were a few details here and there that would break canon. For instance, I could care less if the Enterprise was built in dry-dock or space-dock; it has no bearing on the philosophy of Star Trek, as far as I'm concerned.

However, this little blurb came across my LJ RSS feed just a few minutes ago, and something in it gave me pause:

Unlike some captains portrayed in various Star Trek episodes and movies, those of Star Trek XI compare favorably to the original series version of Captain Kirk.

As reported by Sci Fi Wire, Faran Tahir's Captain Robau is no effete captain filing his nails in his quarters, but a tough and competent captain who is worthy of the seasoned Captain James T. Kirk of the original series.

"...in most of the movies, the other captains have been slightly softer-looking," said Tahir. "Like [it] didn't seem like they were, compared to Captain Kirk."

Wait. What?

Glossing over, for now, the really bad grammar in that last sentence, let me tell you how I read this. I read this as saying "No more women captains, and no more girly-man captains!" I read this as completely invalidating at least two (maybe two and a half, depending on your opinion of Captain Archer) of the captains who starred in the four spin-off series starting with ST:TNG. I read this as another piece of evidence that maybe I was right about J.J Abrams from the beginning- too concerned with making this an action flick to care about what Star Trek is really all about.

Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe I'm oversensitive. But come on, sci-fi, I'm counting on you to help change the world, not put us back to where we were in the 1950s! Its hard enough navigating racism, sexism, classism in sci-fi, trying to move forward, when you keep pushing us back.

Get with the times, J.J. No, actually, get with the future.


violachic: (Default)

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