[Coral-List] Media and Oil Spill Science

Bill Allison allison.billiam at gmail.com
Sun Aug 29 20:53:01 EDT 2010

Good-day Steve:

Disclosure is not a novel concept (e.g., Harding, 1949), and is required by
most journals (e.g., Davidoff and DeAngelis, 2001). Is it unreasonable to
expect it in politically and economically freighted discussions on this

Harding, T. S. (1949). "Vested Interests in Scientific Research." American
Journal of Economics and Sociology 8(2): 181-192.
A prominent industrialist once spoke of scientific research as being "the
first line of defense of the capitalistic dynamic economy as opposed to a
State-planned economy." Science thus itself becomes propaganda. Very often
what appears to be an authentic scientific publication is nothing but
disguised propaganda.

Davidoff, F., C. D. DeAngelis, et al. (2001). "Sponsorship, authorship and
accountability." Canadian Medical Association Journal 165(6): 786-788.

What follows was abstracted from the section on publication ethics from the
“Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals:
Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication”. This was adopted as CMAJ
policy on May 11, 2001.

Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership,
honoraria, paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts
of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal,
the authors, and of science itself. p.787

On Sat, Aug 28, 2010 at 11:15 PM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>wrote:

> Realizing that there is a spirited consensus (based on remarks
> posted in previous discussions) that we keep this list from becoming
> politically charged, I would like to momentarily step between adversaries
> involved in the discussion on the media and oil spill science.
> My fear is that without modification we may ultimately lose
> the opportunity to candidly discuss issues that are in vital need
> of being aired among members of this forum.
> Considering that there is an obvious call for scientists to communicate
> more directly with the public on so many contemporary issues,
> although fully unauthorized, I would like to make a suggestion.
> When participants are identifying themselves (by citing credentials)
> it might help to avoid undue controversy (and the associated
> animus this sometimes creates) if they would freely reveal any
> affiliations that might reflect even the potential for a conflict of
> interest.
> In this way, perhaps we can assure the continuation of these much needed
> and valued discussions and, at the same time, be able to more accurately
> assess and evaluate the opinions expressed without eliciting resentment.
> Steve Mussman
> Totally void of credentials worthy of mention.
> Just an old diver and self-avowed ocean and marine life advocate.
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"reality leaves a lot to the imagination..."  John Lennon

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