sábado, agosto 06, 2011

Biomedical research...about the average Western European man being related to an Egyptian pharaoh

There has been speculation about Tutankhamun's DNA as well as his family's. We arrived to the point where commercial companies buy the right to investigate these things...and promote incomplete results that cause sensation on the media.

People involved in research and teaching boil with these things as there is so much difficulty in trying to educate young people, as there is to de-educate adults that have misconceptions, mostly because of media bad oriented news.

Lab work takes time (me, measuring a skull at an osteology class), and to have final, conclusive and reliable results, all teams have to undergo sponsoring issues, authorizations, museum permits, certification of laboratory conditions, and peer-reviewing of their publications.

I recently came across researchers who contradict themselves, and attest improbable and almost dumb conclusions to attract media attention, thus money for their research centres through new students...now it is a commercial company publicizing results that are still incomplete with sensational findings, which are probaly false or dubious.

Someone not yet very experienced in this 'jungle fever' of publish or perish, (expression originated in a non-academic context in the 1932 book "Archibald Cary Coolidge: life and letters" by Harold Jefferson Coolidge, Robert Howard Lord; Houghton Mifflin Company), who is reasearching a subject connected to these, wildly mediatized and wrongfully stated, might base their results on moving sands.


We need a special instrument to separate the garbage from the jewels. I am trying to illustrate it here...

I was educated to be responsible for what I say, write and most recently, what I publish. So, I expect to have the same courtesy from both the media and the academics that do research, in which I dwelve into finding more data, striking the fact that, when I do know the person in question, having been studying or working with, the shock is most devastating...

About commercial companies picking up polemic scientific researches just to mediatize themselves, this is the law of supply and demand (I have a previous degree in Management and I did my project in Marketing issues); if you are not buying or selling, just acknowledge them, and, as Sun Tzu once said:

it is always better to have your 'enemies' closer than your friends; and afterwards, ignore them.

If you need to retract their publications, do so, when you are certain of the facts you defend, and make sure those are reliable. That's all, folks!

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