Also this week: when “following the science” makes for bad policy (?), and more.
Animal Behaviour has retracted Pruitt et al. 2013, at the request of Pruitt’s two co-authors, without Pruitt’s agreement. The retraction is for two very serious data anomalies. First, extensive duplication of observations from behavioral assays, across different spiders that were assayed at different times. Second, fully 74.3% of the observations are identical with those from another unrelated publication that purportedly measured completely different spiders (!) Going forward, I think it will be…interesting to see if other investigations into Pruitt’s papers begin checking for duplication of data across papers. Kudos to co-authors Lena Grinsted and Virginia Settepani for doing the right thing and requesting the retraction, and to the journal for clearly stating the reasons for the retraction.
Sticking with Jonathan Pruitt’s retractions, Pinter-Wollman et al. 2016, for which Jonathan Pruitt collected the raw data, has now been retracted. This one was retracted because many of the observations differed by the same exact integer amount from other, purportedly independent observations. Again, kudos to Pruitt’s co-authors for doing the right thing and requesting the retraction, and to the journal for spelling out the reasons for the retraction.
BBC Newsnight journalist Lewis Goodall with a deep dive into why Britain didn’t lock down sooner in response to COVID-19. Also asks why Britain, with all its scientific expertise, apparently didn’t respond as effectively as countries with less scientific expertise. One possible, partial answer: waiting for the science in order to finely calibrate a policy response took too long. Very curious to hear what our British readers think of this.
It me. 🙂