Nov 132014
 

 

LIES, Tests, Ethics & Research Misconduct

Most of those who are followers and/or disciples of Rossi’s new religion “e-catholic” have no real experience in scientific/engineering testing and research. Here is a very good article for anyone who follows or believes in any free energy claims. This article takes a look at what constitutes evidence in science and engineering, and further describes what the scientific method is and how it operates. It gives many examples of various ethic codes including worldwide standards of ethics for scientific/engineering testing and research.

It is our humble opinion, based on worldwide standards of ethics for scientific/engineering testing and research, that the following people have engaged in ethic violations, including research and scientific misconduct; in addition this “research and scientific misconduct” is being used to advance the acceptance of, and obtain money for, the e-cat fraud and scam.

Andrea Rossi…………. Chief Scientist, Industrial Heat LLC (a self-imposed title)
Giuseppe Levi………… Bologna University, Bologna, Italy
Evelyn Foschi…………. Bologna, Italy
Bo Höistad……………… Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Roland Pettersson….. Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Lars Tegnér…………….. Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Hanno Essén…………… Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Fighting fraud in research and scientific misconduct is not easy especially in government. Jocelyn Kaiser published an article on March 12, 2014 called, “Top U.S. Scientific Misconduct Official Quits in Frustration With Bureaucracy.” It is located here: http://news.sciencemag.org/people-events/2014/03/top-u.s.-scientific-misconduct-official-quits-frustration-bureaucracy

We quote:

“The director of the U.S. government office that monitors scientific misconduct in biomedical research has resigned after 2 years out of frustration with the “remarkably dysfunctional” federal bureaucracy. David Wright, director of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), writes in a scathing resignation letter obtained by Science Insider that the huge amount of time he spent trying to get things done made much of his time at ORI “the very worst job I have ever had.””

 “ORI, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), monitors alleged research misconduct by researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other Public Health Service (PHS) agencies. It runs education programs and reviews institutions’ misconduct investigations, each year posting a dozen or so findings of misconduct, defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism. It also recommends PHS sanctions, such as barring researchers from receiving grants. ORI’s visibility has grown recently along with a rise in retracted research papers, some involving misconduct.”

Some people are calling for criminal actions for all cases of fraud and research and scientific misconduct, others are saying like we do that all research data should be put online when a paper is published. There are benefits that result from complete publication of all data on the internet, such as, many people can review the work and possible find things other reviewers missed (and if needed, result in an earlier retraction), easier or variations in replication in some cases, as new analysis tools become available the work can be looked at again in the future, possibly discovering new insights, etc.

There are two issues involved in research and scientific misconduct; the first, of course, is the meaning of research and scientific misconduct; the second, did research and scientific misconduct actually take place, along with the related issue of the purpose of the misconduct leading to following the money, or who profited. Sometimes misconduct takes place, not for monetary gain, but for pride and acceptance. We will look at both issues.

We are going to leave it to the reader to take the information we are going to provide below and apply it to all of the statements and documents published concerning Andrea Rossi, his testing teams, his partners and his religious followers. We do though, give a few examples of how to apply this knowledge.

Maybe later if we ever get the time, we will give many more examples on how to apply the scientific method to Rossi’s fraud and scam the e-cat, but for now we will just give the reader the tools they can use on their own. As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Ethics and Scientific Misconduct

In general the rules relating to ethics in scientific research and misconduct varies considerably based on many factors, such as: what type of scientific work is being done, where the work is performed, who finances the work, and who depends on the results, etc. We are not going to go into all of the various levels and types of ethic codes and programs, we are going to, instead, cover the standard and general codes understood worldwide.

Clearly work that may directly impact the health and wellbeing of millions of people will have a much higher standard than work say, about the mating habits of earthworms or snakes.

Hundreds of organizations have produced their own version of a generalized ethic code for scientific/engineering work, let’s look at only a few of them.

Office of Science and Technology (USA)

In December 2000 the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President (USA) adopted a Federal Policy on Research Misconduct. They said:

“Definition. The OSTP Policy defines “research misconduct” as “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results” (see accompanying box for details). It also sets the legal threshold for proving charges of misconduct.

To be considered research misconduct, actions must:
represent a “significant departure from accepted practices”;
have been “committed intentionally, or knowingly, or recklessly”;
and be “proven by a preponderance of evidence.

These further stipulations limit the Federal Government’s role in research misconduct (fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism) to well-documented, serious departures from accepted research practices.

What does “recklessly” mean in this context? Online dictionary.
“Reckless – utterly unconcerned about the consequences of some action; without caution; careless”
“Careless”

  1. not paying enough attention to what one does: a careless typist.
  2. not exact, accurate, or thorough: careless work.
  3. done or said heedlessly or negligently; unconsidered: a careless remark.
  4. not caring or troubling; having no care or concern; unconcerned: careless of the rights of others; careless about one’s behavior; careless in speech.

What is a “preponderance of evidence”? Actually this is the very lowest form of evidence required in civil courts. The online legal dictionary says:

“For most civil claims, there are two different evidentiary standards: preponderance of the evidence, and clear and convincing evidence. A third standard, proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, is used in criminal cases and very few civil cases.

The quantum of evidence that constitutes a preponderance cannot be reduced to a simple formula. A preponderance of evidence has been described as just enough evidence to make it more likely than not that the fact the claimant seeks to prove is true. It is difficult to translate this definition and apply it to evidence in a case, but the definition serves as a helpful guide to judges and juries in determining whether a claimant has carried his or her burden of proof.”

So please everyone remember this definition when we say that Andrea Rossi is running a fraud and a scam with his e-cat religion. A preponderance of evidence is just enough evidence to make it more likely than not that the fact the claimant seeks to prove is true, i.e. in our case, Rossi’s e-cat is a fraud and scam.

So when any claim is made by a critic, or Andrea Rossi, or one of Rossi’s religious followers, or anyone else for that matter, just look at all of the evidence and ask yourself, “is this claim the most likely conclusion to be reached from all of the known facts”? If not, it is “research and scientific misconduct,” or in the case of a reviewer who is critical, justified.

Of course we know that there is enough evidence to prove even in a higher court that Andrea Rossi is running a fraud and scam with his e-cat device. Much more evidence than the low bar required to prove only “research and scientific misconduct.”

Here are four examples to prove “research and scientific misconduct,” we could give hundreds maybe thousands of examples, beginning with the tests in 2008 and ending with the two tests in 2013 and 2014, of Rossi’s complete e-cat fraud project.

Unsubstantiated means – “not supported or proven by evidence.”

Example #1

If the testers and authors claim that almost all of the NI (along with some other material) has been converted to 62NI during the test, a claim that violates all known science, and they do not provide proof that what went in, is what came out, and in addition, they allowed Rossi and his team to handle the “fuel” and “ash,” and further facts reveal that Rossi is a convicted felon who spent many years in prison, is a habitual liar, teller of tall tales, and falsehoods, which is “most likely” true, the claim is false and unsubstantiated or Rossi should get a Noble Prize?

Example #2

If the testers and authors claim that during the test the electrical power, resistance, voltage and current in the testing equipment, device and wiring, do not follow the known and well proven laws of electricity, and they provide only partial data in the report, and they do not provide an account and reason in the report for the discrepancy, which is “most likely” true, the claim is false and unsubstantiated or Rossi should get a Noble Prize?

Example #3

If the testers and authors claim that the colors in the pictures in their report are accurate indicators of temperature, but yet the picture of the “dummy” test shows a different heat path than the “real” test, which indicates that there were different resistors operating during the two tests, (or possibly ALL working resistors were at the center of the device), evidence which does not match their descriptions of the device, and they do not account for this discrepancy in the report, which is “most likely” true, the claim is false and unsubstantiated or Rossi should get a Noble Prize?

Example #4

The most universal, the cornerstone, idea of the scientific method is that any experiment, test, report and claim must provide enough detail and data that a reviewer can replicate the same, thereby allowing the reviewer the ability to analyze and give an honest second opinion about the experiment, test, report and claim. Since the testers and authors of reports concerning all of the e-cat tests and demos, make gross unsubstantiated claims, in addition they do not provide enough details and data to replicate anything, based on just that fact alone, which is “most likely” true, their claims are false and unsubstantiated or Rossi should get a Noble Prize?

Since we could easily give over one hundred clear examples of “research and scientific misconduct” connected to the 2013 and 2014 tests we can only come to the conclusion the team including Andrea Rossi himself has committed “research and scientific misconduct.” And further this “research and scientific misconduct” is being used to advance the acceptance of, and obtain money for, the e-cat fraud and scam.

Over the years thousands of people who were found guilty of “research and scientific misconduct” have lost positions in academia, have had their careers ruined, have lost funding for projects, have lost the ability to be involved in government and corporate research, etc.    

Now let us look at the “scientific method” and “research and scientific misconduct” in more detail.

World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology

In the Proceedings of the Third Session held on 1-4 December 2003, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization we read:
 

Session on a Code of Conduct for Scientists
“This session was chaired by Mr J. E. Fenstad, Chairperson of COMEST, who recalls in the introductory remarks that more than 170 codes of conduct covering 6 continents are currently in existence.”…

 “Traditionally scientists have argued that they are guided by the advancement of knowledge and the advancement of mankind. Since modern times, these two values have been assumed to be in harmony. Two strains of thought have followed. One, that science should remain independent and self-regulated, avoiding the temptations of politics or markets. The other is that scientists should get involved in politics and economics in order to make rationality prevail. These two visions share the notion that scientists are defined by their commitment to searching for truth through the use of rationality. This vision was challenged by two developments. the end of the belief in the inherent goodness of the advancement of knowledge and technology; and the breakdown of the dividing lines between science, government, industry, business, and education. It is difficult to argue that there is still a unified scientific profession with a common set of values. This is perhaps an explanation for the intensive efforts made to develop codes of conduct, and the lack of clarity on what these codes should contain”…

 “Discussion
An observer pointed out that science does not work in a vacuum. It needs financial inputs. Politics and business have also to be considered. If we demand ethics for science, we have the right to demand ethics for politicians and business. Otherwise one is to remain skeptical about codes of conduct. It is a reality that an important share of scientists work on military programmes. This is an issue to be addressed and alternatives should be found.

 Another observer raised a voice of hope. Let us not think of scientists as evil people. The great majority are indeed people with a deep sense of responsibility. It would actually be desirable that people in other professions show as often their own sense of responsibility. There is a basic commitment that accompanies the choice to be a scientist that allows for core shared values. Let us try to identify the cohesion before focusing on the peculiar differences.”…

 The United Kingdom

In 2007 the UK Government Office for Science published a guideline called a “Universal Ethical Code for Scientists.” From that document we read:

What is the Universal Ethical Code for Scientists?
The Universal Ethical Code for Scientists is a public statement of the values and responsibilities of scientists. By scientists we mean anyone whose work uses scientific methods, including social, natural, medical and veterinary sciences, engineering and mathematics.

The code has three main aims:

  • to foster ethical research
  • to encourage active reflection among scientists on the implications and impacts of their work
  • to support communication between scientists and the public on complex and challenging issues.

They stressed three aspects: Rigour, Respect, and Responsibility.

Rigour –
“It’s all about making sure you keep your own skills fresh, and encouraging others to do so, particularly if you are responsible for a team. It’s about encouraging strict adherence to scientific method whatever the subject area, understanding how your results have been informed by the work of other scientists, and acknowledging those factors which have influenced you.

Rigour, honesty and integrity

  • Act with skill and care in all scientific work. Maintain up to date skills and assist their development in others.
  • Take steps to prevent corrupt practices and professional misconduct. Declare conflicts of interest.
  • Be alert to the ways in which research derives from and affects the work of other people, and respect the rights and reputations of others.

Rigour –
“Put simply it means adherence to the Law and making sure that subjects of studies (whether people, animals, plants or the environment more widely) are treated as humanely as possible. In a social science context, that may mean ensuring confidentiality for subjects of study, while in other contexts it will involve a detailed balancing act between the need for progress and the need to minimize adverse impacts of your work.

Respect for life, the law and the public good

  • Ensure that your work is lawful and justified.
  • Minimize and justify any adverse effect your work may have on people, animals and the natural environment.”

Responsibility –
“It’s about communicating results and intentions honestly and accurately, and understanding that your work or its outputs will have an impact on society in its broadest sense. Engaging scientists in a dialogue with those publics is just one of the key activities which the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills is promoting through initiatives like the Sciencewise programme.

Responsible communication: listening and informing

  • Seek to discuss the issues that science raises for society. Listen to the aspirations and concerns of others.
  • Do not knowingly mislead, or allow others to be misled, about scientific matters. Present and review scientific evidence, theory or interpretation honestly and accurately.”

 

The Scientific Method

Now would be a good time to briefly explain and clarify one small item. Most people who are not involved in the field of science or who have never worked as a scientist have no clue what the phrase “scientific method” means to a working scientist, a scientific publication, or anyone connected to the scientific field.

Please remember the “scientific method” is exactly what the testing team tried to pass off to the unsuspecting public with their 2013 and 2014 reports on the e-cat. Most critics could quickly see through their lack of professionalism and their “research and scientific misconduct,” understanding that their report proved nothing, nor gave “indications” of anything other than further confirmations that Rossi is indeed a crook and a con man.

“The scientific method is a procedure, one like no other, it allows a person to analyze reality, real and theoretical, in such a way that by using ordered observations, measurements, and experiments, they can formulate, test, and modify their assumptions and hypotheses, which allows themselves and others to critique, challenge, modify and expand the total body of knowledge describing reality available to the human race. Gary Wright, 2014.”

Prof. Frank L. H. Wolfs at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, NY, USA has a webpage that describes the scientific method in great detail. It can be found here: http://teacher.nsrl.rochester.edu/phy_labs/appendixe/appendixe.html#Heading2

We will highlight some of his interesting comments.

“Recognizing that personal and cultural beliefs influence both our perceptions and our interpretations of natural phenomena, we aim through the use of standard procedures and criteria to minimize those influences when developing a theory. As a famous scientist once said, “Smart people (like smart lawyers) can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view.” In summary, the scientific method attempts to minimize the influence of bias or prejudice in the experimenter when testing an hypothesis or a theory.

I. The scientific method has four steps

  1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
  2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
  3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.
  4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature (more on the concepts of hypothesis, model, theory and law below). If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified. What is key in the description of the scientific method just given is the predictive power (the ability to get more out of the theory than you put in; see Barrow, 1991) of the hypothesis or theory, as tested by experiment. It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory.

II. Testing hypotheses

As just stated, experimental tests may lead either to the confirmation of the hypothesis, or to the ruling out of the hypothesis. The scientific method requires that an hypothesis be ruled out or modified if its predictions are clearly and repeatedly incompatible with experimental tests. Further, no matter how elegant a theory is, its predictions must agree with experimental results if we are to believe that it is a valid description of nature. In physics, as in every experimental science, “experiment is supreme” and experimental verification of hypothetical predictions is absolutely necessary. Experiments may test the theory directly (for example, the observation of a new particle) or may test for consequences derived from the theory using mathematics and logic (the rate of a radioactive decay process requiring the existence of the new particle). Note that the necessity of experiment also implies that a theory must be testable. Theories which cannot be tested, because, for instance, they have no observable ramifications (such as, a particle whose characteristics make it unobservable), do not qualify as scientific theories.….

 …Error in experiments have several sources. First, there is error intrinsic to instruments of measurement. Because this type of error has equal probability of producing a measurement higher or lower numerically than the “true” value, it is called random error. Second, there is non-random or systematic error, due to factors which bias the result in one direction. No measurement, and therefore no experiment, can be perfectly precise. At the same time, in science we have standard ways of estimating and in some cases reducing errors. Thus it is important to determine the accuracy of a particular measurement and, when stating quantitative results, to quote the measurement error. A measurement without a quoted error is meaningless. The comparison between experiment and theory is made within the context of experimental errors. Scientists ask, how many standard deviations are the results from the theoretical prediction? Have all sources of systematic and random errors been properly estimated?…

 …III. Common Mistakes in Applying the Scientific Method

As stated earlier, the scientific method attempts to minimize the influence of the scientist’s bias on the outcome of an experiment. That is, when testing an hypothesis or a theory, the scientist may have a preference for one outcome or another, and it is important that this preference not bias the results or their interpretation. The most fundamental error is to mistake the hypothesis for an explanation of a phenomenon, without performing experimental tests. Sometimes “common sense” and “logic” tempt us into believing that no test is needed. There are numerous examples of this, dating from the Greek philosophers to the present day.

 Another common mistake is to ignore or rule out data which do not support the hypothesis. Ideally, the experimenter is open to the possibility that the hypothesis is correct or incorrect. Sometimes, however, a scientist may have a strong belief that the hypothesis is true (or false), or feels internal or external pressure to get a specific result. In that case, there may be a psychological tendency to find “something wrong”, such as systematic effects, with data which do not support the scientist’s expectations, while data which do agree with those expectations may not be checked as carefully. The lesson is that all data must be handled in the same way.

 Another common mistake arises from the failure to estimate quantitatively systematic errors (and all errors). There are many examples of discoveries which were missed by experimenters whose data contained a new phenomenon, but who explained it away as a systematic background. Conversely, there are many examples of alleged “new discoveries” which later proved to be due to systematic errors not accounted for by the “discoverers.”

 In a field where there is active experimentation and open communication among members of the scientific community, the biases of individuals or groups may cancel out, because experimental tests are repeated by different scientists who may have different biases. In addition, different types of experimental setups have different sources of systematic errors. Over a period spanning a variety of experimental tests (usually at least several years), a consensus develops in the community as to which experimental results have stood the test of time….

 ….VI. Conclusion

The scientific method is intricately associated with science, the process of human inquiry that pervades the modern era on many levels. While the method appears simple and logical in description, there is perhaps no more complex question than that of knowing how we come to know things. In this introduction, we have emphasized that the scientific method distinguishes science from other forms of explanation because of its requirement of systematic experimentation. We have also tried to point out some of the criteria and practices developed by scientists to reduce the influence of individual or social bias on scientific findings. Further investigations of the scientific method and other aspects of scientific practice may be found in the references listed below.”

 

UNESCO

UNESCO published a code of conduct for science research, they said:

UNESCO attaches the highest priority to the maintenance of high standards of integrity, responsibility and accountability in the research it supports. This applies to all aspects of that research from collection, recording, citing and reporting to the retention of scientific material.

UNESCO Code of Conduct and Ethical Guidelines
Researchers should be fully aware of the ethical issues involved in their work and adhere to the following basic principles:

1 Responsibility for all procedures and ethical issues related to the project rests with the principal investigators.

2 Research should be conducted in such a way that the integrity of the research enterprise is maintained, and negative after-effects which might diminish the potential for future research should be avoided.

3 The choice of research issues should be based on the best scientific judgement and on an assessment of the potential benefit to the participants and society in relation to the risk to be borne by the participants. Studies should relate to an important intellectual issue.

4 The researcher should consider the effects of his/her work, including the consequences or misuse, both for the individuals and groups among whom they do their fieldwork, and for their colleagues and for the wider society.

5 The researcher should be aware of any potential harmful effects; in such circumstances, the chosen method should be used only if no alternative methods can be found after consultation with colleagues and other experts. Full justification for the method chosen should be given.

6 The research should be conducted in a competent fashion, as an objective scientific project and without bias. All research personnel should be qualified to use all of the procedures employed by them.

7 The research should be carried out in full compliance with, and awareness of, local customs, standards, laws and regulations.

8 All researchers should be familiar with, and respect, the host culture. Researchers undertaking research on cultures, countries and ethnic groups other than their own should make their research objectives particularly clear and remain aware of the concerns and welfare of the individuals or communities to be studied.

9 The principal investigators’ own ethical principles should be made clear to all those involved in the research to allow informed collaboration with other researchers. Potential conflicts should be resolved before the research begins.

10 The research should avoid undue intrusion into the lives of the individuals or communities they study. The welfare of the informants should have the highest priority; their dignity, privacy and interests should be protected at all times.

11 Freely given informed consent should be obtained from all human subjects. Potential participants should be informed, in a manner and in language they can understand, of the context, purpose, nature, methods, procedures, and sponsors of the research. Research teams should be identified and contactable during and after the research activity.

12 There should be no coercion. Participants should be fully informed of their right to refuse, and to withdraw at any time during the research.

13 Potential participants should be protected against any and all potentially harmful effects and should be informed of any potential consequences of their participation.

14 Full confidentiality of all information and the anonymity of participants should be maintained. Participants should be informed of any potential limitations to the confidentiality of any information supplied. Procedures should be put in place to protect the confidentiality of information and the anonymity of the participants in all research materials.

15 Participants should be offered access to research results, presented in a manner and language they can understand.

16 All research should be reported widely, with objectivity and integrity.

17 Researchers should provide adequate information in all publications and to colleagues to permit their methods and findings to be properly assessed. Limits of reliability and applicability should be made clear.

18 Researchers are responsible for properly acknowledging the unpublished as well as published work of other scholars.

19 All research materials should be preserved in a manner that respects the agreements made with participants.

The USDA Forest Service

The USDA Forest Service published its Research & Development Code of Scientific Ethics in 2002, we quote:

“Definitions
Scientific Misconduct. Scientific misconduct includes both research misconduct and professional misconduct. It does not include instances of honest error, honest differences of opinion, differences in interpretation of scientific data, or disagreements involving experimental design.

Research Misconduct. Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.

Fabrication: Fabrication is making up results and recording or reporting them.

Falsification: Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.

This definition is consistent with the definition contained in the proposed Federal Policy on Research Misconduct to Protect the Integrity of the Research Record. If the definition in that document is revised when the final policy document is issued, the definition here will likewise be revised to retain consistency.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism means the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit, including those obtained through confidential review of others’ research proposals and manuscripts.

Professional Misconduct. Professional misconduct includes but is not limited to exploitation of research associates, conferring or denying authorship inappropriately, duplicative publication, misstating one’s research credentials, failing to retain significant data for a reasonable period, unauthorized use of data, or failing to publish significant data in a timely manner without reasonable cause.

Duplicative Publication: Duplicate publication of findings as original in more than one publication outlet. Earlier publication of data should always be referenced in later publications. Dual publications should be mutually agreed to by both outlets (e.g., proceedings and journals).”

[and we quote further]

…“The purpose of this Code is to describe ethical conduct in scientific research and development activities. The Code applies specifically to the conduct of scientific investigation and reporting.”…

  • I dedicate myself to the pursuit, promotion, and advancement of scientific knowledge.
  • I will conduct, manage, judge, and report scientific research honestly, thoroughly, and without conflict of interest.

“Scientific honesty and integrity of Forest Service researchers and developers is in the public interest and must be placed ahead of personal gain or allegiance to individuals or organizations. Scientists are obligated to be thorough in documenting their work to ensure that the details of their methods are described adequately such that other scientists can reproduce their research results.

This Code element does NOT suggest that using novel investigative approaches, using unusual analysis methods, exclusion of data points that are known to be faulty for identifiable material reasons, or novel interpretation of data constitute unethical behavior. Any data modifications should be fully documented in the research record. When done honestly and diligently, use of unorthodox approaches, analysis methods, and interpretations can result in significant scientific progress. It is a breach of scientific ethics, however, if these practices are used to support a desired conclusion. It is particularly unethical if the representation is made that the novel or unusual practices are in fact standard or the only correct way to have conducted the study, performed analyses, or interpreted the data.

Conflict of interest (3) can be defined as a situation in which an individual’s personal interest interferes with the objectivity of his/her actions or judgments. Some instances of conflict of interest occur when personal financial interests affect an individual’s action, but these situations are uncommon among Forest Service scientists (also Office of Governmental Ethics rules for financial disclosure generally prohibit scientists from participation in studies or programs where they have a financial conflict of interest). More common instances of conflict of interest in Forest Service R&D activities occur when actions or judgments are affected by opportunities for career advancement, professional prestige, and personal allegiances or animosities.

Scientists are expected to interact with other Forest Service scientists, university researchers, commercial enterprises, trade associations, and public interest groups. A scientist’s interpretation of research results, recommendations to others, and review of other scientists’ works or proposals has the potential to be influenced by these individuals or entities. Furthermore, a scientist’s personal prestige may depend on the perceived importance of his/her field of investigation and on the scientific community’s acceptance of certain theories, paradigms, or data sets from within that field (sometimes those of the individual scientist or those of the scientist’s colleagues). Even when the scientist believes he/she is acting objectively, circumstances may exist where others may perceive there is a conflict of interest. In these cases scientists are advised that they should document these relationships and make an honest effort to act in an objective fashion.”
(3) Resnick, D.B. 1998. Conflict of interest in science. Perspectives on Science 6(4):381-408

  • I will prevent abuse of all resources entrusted to me and endeavor to treat human and animal subjects humanely, following established guidelines where they are available.
  • I will not willfully hinder the research of others nor engage in dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or other professional misconduct.

“The research of other scientists may be hindered by actions such as biased review of research proposals or manuscripts submitted for publication, physical disruption of another scientist’s experiments, denial of access to resources or data needed by other scientists to perform their work, or failure to provide information that other scientists need to duplicate research or verify its accuracy. (Also see discussion under the second Code element on conflict of interest.)

Scientific staff are expected to allow others access to research resources that have been entrusted to them, unless doing so would compromise the scientific validity of their research or substantially interfere with its performance. Reasonable judgments that specific actions would compromise the validity of research or interfere with its performance depend on individual circumstances. Therefore, this Code does not attempt to provide specific guidelines for making such determination. However, denying other researchers access to research resources or data from published studies primarily for the purpose of enhancing one’s own position of importance is unethical.”

  • I will welcome constructive criticism of my personal scientific research and offer the same to my colleagues in a manner that fosters mutual respect amid objective scientific debate.

“Scientific research is a contest of ideas and the newest concepts that are not part of a current paradigm can result in serious conflict. Open and honest debate is essential for the advancement of science.

The peer-review process is an important step in the conduct of scientific research and should be free of personal and professional jealousies, competitions, and disagreements, and conflicts of interest (see detailed discussion under other code items). Reviewer comments on publications in progress should be focused on their logical and scientific validity, rather than the personal feelings of the reviewer or past or current interactions between the reviewer and the author.”

  • I will recognize past and present contributors to my research and will neither accept nor assume unauthorized and/or unwarranted credit for another’s accomplishments.
  • I will claim authorship for a research product only if I am willing to be held responsible for both the interpretation of the data and the conclusions as presented.

“This Code element concerns what is often termed “responsible authorship.” It is intended to discourage claims by an individual of rights to authorship and associated benefits without a willingness to accept professional responsibility tied to authorship. It is also intended to assure that individuals who have made a substantial intellectual contribution to a study are appropriately recognized.

Manuscripts with multiple authors reflect the creative inputs of all the authors. With complex studies, individual authors may not be able to ascertain the accuracy of every detail of the work conducted by their co-authors. In these situations, individual authors are not expected to be responsible for every technical detail of the work performed by co-authors but should be able to fully explain and defend the manuscript’s major conclusions. Co-authors are jointly responsible for all statements made in manuscripts.”

  • I will claim authorship for a research product only if I have made a major intellectual contribution (as part of conception, design, data collection, data analysis, or interpretation) and made significant contributions to its preparation (write, review, or edit).

“Scientists may serve important roles as facilitators of research and development studies by providing administrative support, by attracting and directing financial support, or by virtue of their reputation or position facilitating cooperative relationships with other research institutions. None of these roles constitutes an intellectual contribution to the published research worthy of claiming authorship. Claiming authorship on manuscripts to which an individual provided no intellectual contribution is dishonest and therefore unacceptable. However, recognition for these important roles in facilitating research and development should be included in the individual’s position description. For positions under the Research Grade Evaluation Guide, include the information under Factor I—The Research Assignment or Factor IV.B.—Professional Activities and Recognition or Factor IV.C.—Scientific Accomplishments and Contributions, or Factor IV.E.—Other Significant Information, as appropriate. For positions under Part III – Experimental Development of the Equipment Development Grade Evaluation Guide, include the

information under Factor 1—Nature of the Assignment or Factor IV – Qualifications and Contributions, as appropriate. Intellectual contributions in data collection means not merely collecting data following a standard, recognized protocol, but entails developing the process by which data are collected or validated.”

  • I will not publish or use original ideas, research data, or unpublished findings of others without written approval.
  • I will refrain from duplicative publication of the same research findings as original.
  • I will show appropriate diligence toward preserving and maintaining resources, such as data records, that are entrusted to me.

“Scientists have the responsibility of presenting and maintaining information such that other scientists can reproduce their work and/or evaluate its validity. This does not suggest that scientists must provide every detail of their methodology in manuscripts or presentations; editorial constraints often prohibit this. Nevertheless, scientists should accurately, if briefly, describe methodology in manuscripts and be prepared to provide details on request. Likewise, scientists should maintain raw data for reasonable periods after publication. Doing so will permit other scientists to evaluate its validity. What constitutes a reasonable period for maintenance of raw data varies with the scientific discipline, but five years after publication is a minimum. See FSH 6209.11 – Records Management Handbook for retention periods.

Scientific staff should not modify, dismantle, or discard research materials, plots, or apparatuses of other researchers with few exceptions: permission was granted by the other researchers; the resources were abandoned; or the items pose an imminent safety hazard. Data gathered by others should also be treated with respect; it must not be discarded unless it is objectively judged as having no scientific validity. Determination of scientific validity should not be made without consulting with the individuals responsible for generating it.

Determination that another scientist has abandoned research resources or data must not be casually assumed. Inquiry concerning whether research resources have been abandoned is a necessary professional courtesy.”

 

Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists (USA)

Now let us look at another interesting scenario. Suppose for instance Andrea Rossi, or a member of his team or one of his partners, decided to take someone to court for saying that Andrea Rossi is running a fraud and a scam, which is what Rossi’s is doing, by the way, with his e-cat. Then suppose that Andrea Rossi tried to use the latest two reports published in 2013 and 2014 by the team listed at the top of this article as proof his device worked. Now we get into the realm of forensic science, because forensic science is concerned with the scientific analysis and examination of physical evidence which, along with its interpretation, is presented in a court of law. Read below the standard that any testing and reporting would be held to if actually presented in a court. If any evidence is presented to a court and it is shown that the testing and reporting was based on Professional, Scientific, or Research Misconduct it will be thrown out.

On November 8th, 2007 in Salt Lake City, UT, the Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists (NWAFS) adopted a Code of Ethics during their annual NWAFS Business meeting. In that document we find:

“It is the duty of any person practicing the profession of forensic science to serve the interests of justice to the best of their ability at all times. In fulfilling this duty, they will use all of the scientific means at their command to ascertain all of the significant physical facts relative to the matters under investigation. Having made factual determinations, the forensic scientist must then interpret and evaluate the findings. In this they will be guided by experience and knowledge which, coupled with a serious consideration of the analytical findings and the application of sound judgment, may enable them to arrive at opinions and conclusions pertaining to the matters under study. These findings of fact and the conclusions and opinions should then be reported, with all the accuracy and skill of which the scientist is capable, to the end that all may fully understand and be able to place the findings in their proper relationship to the problem at issue.”

“I. ETHICS RELATING TO THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD:

  1. The forensic scientist has a truly scientific spirit and should be inquiring, progressive, logical and unbiased.
  2. The true scientist will make adequate examination of all materials, applying those tests essential to proof. They will not, merely for the sake of bolstering their conclusions, utilize unwarranted and superfluous tests in an attempt to give apparent greater weight to the results.
  3. The modern scientific mind is an open one, incompatible with secrecy of method. Scientific analyses will not be conducted by “secret process”, nor will conclusions in case work be based upon such tests and experiments as will not be revealed to the profession.
  4. A proper scientific method demands reliability of validity in the materials analyzed. Conclusions will not be drawn from materials which themselves appear unrepresentative, atypical or unreliable.
  5. A truly scientific method requires that no generally discredited or unreliable procedure be utilized in the analysis.
  6. The progressive worker will keep abreast of new developments in scientific methods and in all cases view them with an open mind. This is not to say that they need not be critical of untried or unproven methods, but they will recognize superior methods when they are introduced.

 II. ETHICS RELATING TO OPINIONS AND CONCLUSIONS:

  1. Valid conclusions call for the application of proven methods. Where it is practical to do so, the competent forensic scientist will apply such methods throughout. This does not demand the application of “standard test procedures”, but, where practical, use should be made of those methods developed and recognized by this or other professional societies.
  2. Tests are designed to disclose true facts and all interpretations shall be consistent with that purpose and will not be knowingly distorted.
  3. Where appropriate to the correct interpretation of a test, experimental controls shall be made for verification.
  4. Where possible, the conclusions reached as a result of analytical tests are properly verified by re-testing or the application of additional techniques.
  5. Where test results are inconclusive or indefinite, any conclusions drawn shall be fully explained.
  6. The scientific mind is unbiased and refuses to be swayed by evidence or matters outside the specific materials under consideration. It is immune to suggestion, pressures and coercions inconsistent with the evidence at hand, being interested only in ascertaining facts.
  7. The forensic scientist will be alert to recognize the significance of a test result as it may relate to the investigative aspects of a case. In this respect they will, however, scrupulously avoid confusing scientific fact with investigative theory in their interpretations.
  8. Scientific method demands that the individual be aware of their own limitations and refuse to extend themselves beyond them. It is both proper and advisable that the scientific worker seek knowledge in new fields; they will not, however, be hasty to apply such knowledge before they have had adequate training and experience.
  9. Where test results are capable of being interpreted to the advantage of either side of a case, the forensic scientist will not choose that interpretation favoring the side by which they are employed merely as a means to justify their employment.
  10. It is both wise and proper that the forensic scientist be aware of the various possible implications of their opinions and conclusions and be prepared to weigh them, if called upon to do so. In any such case, however, they will clearly distinguish between that which may be regarded a scientifically demonstrated fact and that which is speculative.”

 Almost all of the followers of Rossi’s e-cat religion like to point out that the authors of both e-cat reports are from Bologna University, Bologna, Italy, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden and Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Even though these two reports were not officially sanctioned by these organizations, it does give an air of authority to the reports, to the uninformed. Let us look then at what those organizations say about ethics and research misconduct. These policies which require a high standard, are nearly the same for all of the large European universities, so we will give only detailed information about Uppsala University.

Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Uppsala University has a website in English that is a Codex for Rules and Guidelines for Research.
The address is here: http://www.codex.vr.se/en/regler.shtml

There is a very long list of worldwide professional ethics codes on a page in the Codex here: http://www.codex.vr.se/en/etik9.shtml

We read on their website:

Research ethics as a reaction against misconduct
“The advancement of research ethics was largely a reaction to experiences and reports of dangerous research on humans. More recently, increased attention has been directed toward research misconduct, that is, the fabrication, falsification and plagiary of scientific data and results. The researcher must always be sure to follow what could be called good research and documentation practices. The research ethics investigation defined fraud as a researcher “deliberately and in a deceptive way departing from the scientific demands or consciously breaking with generally accepted norms”.”

They actually have a page called “misconduct in research.” Here is the link.
http://www.codex.vr.se/en/etik6.shtml

“Misconduct in research
The term research misconduct usually refers to fabricating, falsifying, plagiarizing or stealing scientific data and results, that is, cheating in various ways. During recent years, many cases exemplifying such behavior have undergone review in the media.

As the state and its citizens, as well as commercial interests, require dependable scientific results, while it is also important that the public retain its trust in research, it is a self-evident fact that every researcher should strive after honest conduct. The Higher Education Act states that the trust in science and good research practice shall be upheld by the work of universities. Universities informed about possible research misconduct are obliged to investigate (The Higher Education Ordinance).

 Definitions
The research ethics investigation “Good Conduct in Research” defined fraud broadly as follows: a researcher “intentionally and in a deceptive way departs from scientific requirements or consciously violates generally accepted norms” (SOU 1999:4). A more detailed definition was earlier provided by the former Medical Research Council:

Fraud and dishonesty in research entail intentional misrepresentation of the research process through deceptive actions that fall into one or more of the following categories:

   * fabrication of data

   * theft or plagiarism of data, for example hypotheses or methods, from another researcher’s manuscript, application or publication (without supplying the source)

   * misrepresentation of the research process in another way, for example through incorrect use of methodology, dishonest inclusion or exclusion of data, deceptive analysis of data that intentionally misrepresents their interpretation, or dishonesty toward granting authorities (Riktlinjer för etisk värdering av medicinsk humanforskning, guidelines for ethical evaluation of medical research on humans)

The Swedish Research Council and SUHF later suggested the following definition:

Science misconduct includes acting or omission to act in connection with research, so that research results become false or distorted, or so that a person’s contributions to the research get misrepresented. To be held accountable, a person must have performed the misconduct intentionally or shown great negligence….

The peer-review system

To ensure quality in research, review is conducted at many levels: First by the granting authority and often also by a research ethics committee, then by editors and independent peer reviewers upon publication of the results, and finally by other researchers who read the published material. None of this, however, removes any of the researcher’s primary responsibility.

Research material should be archived so that it is possible to go back later and test or replicate the research conducted. See pages on publication of research results, as well as storage and ownership of research results.”

 

Bologna University, Bologna, Italy

In relation to Bologna University, we want to mention one publication, “The Economics of Scientific Misconduct” by Nicola Lacetera, Case Western Reserve University and Lorenzo Zirulia University of Bologna, October 18, 2007. We quote:

“The types of scientific frauds that are observed are unlikely to be representative of the overall amount of malfeasance in science. Star scientists are more likely to misbehave, but less likely to be caught than average scientists.”…
“More broadly, the current debate lacks a theoretical background of the underlying incentives of
scientists to undertake fraudulent behavior in their research, and the incentives of their peers to
detect these behaviors. Elaborating such a theory would allow for more founded predictions of
the kinds of research and of researchers that are more likely to engage in fraudulent behavior,
and of the impact of different policy proposals to reduce misconduct. In this paper, a theory of
scientific malfeasance is proposed.”….

….“Conclusion

The objective of this paper was to provide a framework for the study of scientific misconduct. Fraud in science occurs and is a major problem. Individuals, firms and governments increasingly rely on scientific knowledge for their welfare. They operate under the assumption that this knowledge has been honestly and truthfully generated. Nonetheless, examples of scientists who falsified, fabricated or plagiarized their findings, and were still able to publish and get recognition for them (before being found out) abound. The scientific community is a complex, self-regulating institution where several actors interact in different forms as competitors, complementors, and evaluators.”

And to show the similarities we also read: http://eqa.unibo.it/about/editorialPolicies

“Ethical conduct in scientific publishing
Author(s) should understand and scrupulously uphold high standards for ethical behavior in the conduct of research, particularly in relation to the verification and truthful reporting of data, the granting of proper credit, and referencing of the work of others in publication. Plagiarism of another’s work is a form of theft and constitutes serious misconduct. In publication it is essential that each co-author contributes significantly to the research reported and openly accepts joint responsibility for the work. If these conditions cannot be met, the person should not be included as an author.”

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As we stated at the beginning of this article:

It is our humble opinion, based on worldwide standards of ethics for scientific/engineering testing and research, that the following people have engaged in ethic violations, including research and scientific misconduct; in addition this “research and scientific misconduct” is being used to advance the acceptance of, and obtain money for, the e-cat fraud and scam.

Andrea Rossi…………. Chief Scientist, Industrial Heat LLC (a self-imposed title)
Giuseppe Levi………… Bologna University, Bologna, Italy
Evelyn Foschi…………. Bologna, Italy
Bo Höistad……………… Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Roland Pettersson….. Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Lars Tegnér…………….. Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Hanno Essén…………… Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

 

Published on November 13, 2014