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博主胡德良:邢台学院外语系英语教授,中国译协专家会员,河北省译协常务理事,邢台市译协副会长。爱好翻译,内容涉及宇宙探秘、医疗卫生、家庭保健、生命科学、能源科学、地球科学、环境科学、散文小说和纪实文学等领域。所译文章曾见于《光明日报》、《科技日报》、《健康时报》、《健康报》、《英语世界》、《英语知识》、《科技英语学习》、《科学之友》、《科学与文化》、《世界科学》、《生命世界》等全国各大报刊。博客特色:英汉对照、图文并茂,融趣味性、科学性、知识性为一体。

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科学、谎言和录像实验(图)  

2018-01-04 08:33:05|  分类: 名人风采 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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科学、谎言和录像实验(图) - 月亮飞船 - 欢迎光临月亮飞船的博客
 Too many researchers make up or massage their data, says Timothy D. Clark. Only stringent demands for proof can stop them.
蒂莫西·D·克拉克说:捏造和窜改数据的研究人员太多,只有对证据作出严格要求,才能阻止这类事情发生。
Timothy D. Clark   胡德良   译

 Late last month, a US physicist began a jail sentence for scientific fraud. Darin Kinion took funds for research on quantum computing but did not carry out the work he claimed; instead, he invented the data that the research supposedly produced.

 上个月,一位美国物理学家由于科学欺诈开始入狱服刑。达林·基尼恩(Darin Kinion)通过研究量子计算拿到了资助,但是没有获得他声称要取得的成果;相反,他对研究中可能会产生的数据进行了捏造。

 Scientists like to think that such blatant dishonesty is rare, but I myself have witnessed several serious cases of scientific misconduct, from major data manipulation to outright fabrication. Most have gone unpunished — in fact, it has been disheartening to see the culprits lauded. It makes little sense for fraudsters to fabricate mediocre data. Their falsehoods generate outstanding stories, which result in high-profile publications and a disproportionately large chunk of the funding pie.

 科学家们往往认为,这种公然的不诚实行为是罕见的。但是,我本人就见证过好几起学术严重不端的案例,从主要数据的窜改到完全捏造等各种情况都有。多数人没有受到惩罚。事实上,看到那些犯错者还得到了夸赞,真是让人寒心。欺诈者捏造平庸的数据没有什么意义,但是他们通过虚假数据编造杰出的报道,结果可以发表在高端出版物上,骗取一大部分资助基金,与他们的所做所为极不相称。

 I have noticed a lesser-known motive for bad science in my field, experimental biology. As environmental change proceeds, there is great demand from the public and policy?makers for simple stories that show the damage being done to wildlife. I occasionally meet scientists who argue that the questions we ask and the stories we tell are more important than the probity of our investigations: the end justifies the means, even if the means lead to data fabrication. That view is alarmingly misguided and has no place in science. The undeniable anthropogenic impacts on wildlife must be investigated with strict scientific rigour.

 在我的研究领域——实验生物学领域,我注意到从事伪科学还有一个不太为人所知的动机。随着环境变化的加剧,公众和决策者都对环境给野生动物造成有害影响的相关简报有大量的需求。偶尔我遇到的科学家们认为:我们提出的问题以及我们讲述的故事,比我们实实在在的调查还重要。但是,结果会验证方法,即使这种方法会导致数据捏造。他们的观点误导性很强,在科学上没有立脚之地。人类对野生动物造成了不可否认的影响,但这一点一定要以非常严谨的科学态度去调查。

 One reason some scientists can get away with questionable practices is that the scientific system is based on trust. The burden of proof is on those who suspect and report misconduct. Unless there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary, scientists are believed to have done what they say they did. If the community is serious about tackling misconduct, this must change. It is time to shift the burden of proof onto those who produce the results.

 对于有问题的做法,一些科学家可以逃脱惩罚,其中的一个原因是,科学体系是以信任为基础的。举证的责任落在那些持有怀疑态度、报道行为不端的人肩上。除非相反的证据不可抗拒,人们都会相信科学家们确实做了声称做过的工作。如果科学界对于处理行为不端的现象持有严肃的态度,这一点必须要改变,现在就该把举证的责任转交给那些拿出研究成果的人。

 In some fields, this proof is often implicit in how scientists collect and report data. Detailed evidence may be provided by the outputs of mostly autonomous equipment. Access to all the raw, non-manipulated data files — as increasingly demanded by journals and peers across disciplines — may be enough.

 在某些领域,这种证据通常在科学家们如何收集数据、如何报告数据的过程中并没有言明,详细的证据可能主要是由自制设备输出的数据提供的。期刊和跨学科的同行们要求获得未经处理的全部原始数据文件,而且这样的呼声越来越高了,获得了这些文件也许就足够了。

 Science that relies on human observation of remote field work and trials that are difficult to replicate precisely — such as studies in the field of animal behaviour — needs a different approach. Simply, researchers should routinely film their experiments and present the footage to journal editors, reviewers and colleagues alongside their data and analyses. In some disciplines (such as ornithology), photo or audio files may provide better evidence than video.

 有的科学要靠人类对偏远的野外作业和野外实验进行观察,这种作业和实验是难以精确复制的——例如,在动物行为研究领域,就需要一种不同的方法。简单地说,研究人员应该经常将他们的实验拍摄下来,将录制的片段连同数据和分析一起提交给期刊社编辑、审稿人和同行。在某些学科(如鸟类学)中,图片文件或音频文件可能比视频文件更好,能够提供更加充分的证据。 ?成了不可否认的影响,但这一点一定要以非常严谨的科学态度去调查。

 If extreme athletes can use self-mounted cameras to record their wildest adventures during mountaintop blizzards, scientists have little excuse not to record what goes on in lab and field studies.

 如果极限运动员可以利用自拍摄像机在山顶暴风雪期间记录他们最疯狂的冒险,科学家们就没有理由不去记录实验室和野外研究中发生的情况。

 “Scientists have little excuse not to record what goes on in lab and field studies.”

 “科学家们没有理由不去记录实验室和野外研究中发生的情况。”

 Yes, visual evidence can be faked, but a few simple safeguards should be enough to prevent that. Take a typical experiment in my field: using a tank of flowing water to expose fish to environmental perturbations and looking for shifts in behaviour. It is trivial to set up a camera, and equally simple to begin each recorded exposure with a note that details, for example, the trial number and treatment history of the organism. (Think of how film directors use clapper boards to keep records of the sequence of numerous takes.) This simple measure would make it much more difficult to fabricate data and ‘assign’ animals to desired treatment groups after the results are known.

 的确,可视证据可以伪造,但是使用一些简单的保护措施就应该足以防止伪造了。就拿我的研究领域的一个典型实验来说吧:用一箱流动的水,让鱼接触环境扰动,看看鱼的行为有什么变化。架起录像机很简单,每次录像前用个小纸条具体记录一下——如实验编号和对这条鱼的处理历史等——也同样简单。想一想电影导演如何运用场记板来记录许多拍摄片段的顺序,你就会明白为何这个简单的措施会使捏造数据难上加难了。等实验结果出来之后,你还可以将鱼分配到合适的处理组。

 My colleagues and I are currently using this approach to record studies of how coral-reef fish respond to dissolved carbon dioxide. There would also be benefits for other disciplines, including social-psychology studies based on direct observations.

 目前,我和同事正在使用这个方法记录有关珊瑚礁鱼对溶解的二氧化碳会做出何种反应的研究资料。该方法对其他学科也会有好处,包括基于直接观察的社会心理学研究在内。

 Sharing visual evidence is straightforward. Video files can be compressed and transferred without excessive loss of resolution. Files can then be uploaded to free data repositories (such as figshare or Zenodo) before manuscripts are submitted for publication. Notably, the online supplementary material of most journals allows for 10–150?MB of storage to accommodate images and detailed descriptions of methodology.

 分享可视证据是很简单的:视频文件可以压缩,可以传输,不会过多地损失分辨率。然后,在手稿提交上去但尚未发表之前,可以将可视文件上传到免费数据存储库(如免费分享平台figshare或者Zenodo)中。值得注意的是,多数期刊的在线补充材料允许占用10150?MB的存储空间,可以存放图片和描述研究方法的详细资料。

 There is more to this than preventing misconduct. Visual evidence can help reviewers (before and after publication) to spot problems that are not obvious from written descriptions and diagrams. Software could help to quantify behavioural features in recorded experiments and mitigate experimenter biases. Plus, scientists who know that their equipment and techniques will be on display will try harder to improve them.

 这样做不仅仅有利于防止行为不端——在发表之前和发表之后,可视证据还可以帮助审稿人发现书面描述和图表中存在的不明显的问题。使用软件可能会有助于量化试验记录中的行为特征,减少实验人员的偏见。此外,科学家们知道他们的设备和技术将要被公开展示之后,他们就会更加努力地去改进。

 The best way to implement these changes is for academic journals to start mandating visual (and audio) evidence to support a submitted paper. As far as I am aware, no journals routinely do this. Journals must also ensure that their stated requirements are adhered to.

 实现这种转变的最佳方法是,学术期刊要着手要求出具可视和可听证据,用以支持所提交的论文。据我所知,没有任何期刊一贯地这样要求。学术期刊还必须要确保作者遵守其规定的要求。

 Surveys suggest that I am not unusual in witnessing fraud: some 14% of scientists say that they have witnessed it, too. Although it would be simpler to turn a blind eye to this issue and move on, this situation inhibits so many aspects of scientific progress that I feel compelled to try to fix it. The added logistical difficulties of providing visual evidence are a small price to pay to tackle dishonesty and greatly reduce the number of irreproducible (and often poorly conducted) studies. Mandatory visual evidence will undoubtedly help to reconcile the tens of billions of dollars wasted on irreproducible research every year. In short, show us your science.

 调查显示,目睹欺诈行为的并不是只有我自己,大约有14%的科学家表示他们也目睹过欺诈行为。对这个问题视而不见,继续做自己的事,这样可能会更加简便易行,但是这种情况阻碍了科学进步的方方面面,我觉得必须要努力解决这个问题。提供可视证据在运筹方面会增加一些困难,但是对于应对不诚实的行为来说,只不过是付出一点点代价而已,这样做能够大大减少不可复制研究的数量,不可复制的研究通常也是涉及行为不端的研究。毫无疑问,强制要求出具可视证据将会有助于解决每年在不可复制研究上浪费数百亿美元资金的问题。总之,要向我们展示研究的科学性!

 译自:英国《自然》杂志官网(http://www.nature.com/
原著:Timothy D. Clark蒂莫西·D·克拉克)
作者简介:蒂莫西·D·克拉克是塔斯马尼亚大学高级研究员兼澳大利亚霍巴特联邦科学和工业研究组织高级研究员。

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