Ole Rogeberg writes:
After reading your recent post, I thought you might find this interesting – especially the scanned interview that is included at the bottom of the posting. It’s an old OMNI interview with Walter Stewart that was the first thing I read (at a young and impressionable age ;) about the prevalence of errors, fraud and cheating in science, the institutional barriers to tackling it, the often high personal costs to whistleblowers, the difficulty of accessing scientific data to repeat published analyses, and the surprisingly negative attitude towards criticism within scientific communities. Highly recommended entertaining reading – with some good examples of scientific investigations into implausible effects. The post itself contains the info I once dug up about what happened to him later – he seems like an interesting and very determined guy: when the NIH tried to stop him from investigating scientific errors and fraud he went on a hunger strike.
No idea what’s happened to him recently – still hoping to find out.
Last September I [Rogeberg] sent an email with a bunch of stuff to Jonah Lehrer, hoping he might do a story on Ned Feder and Walter Stewart, a pair of “scientific fraud investigators” active in the eighties and nineties. He replied that the story was “absolutely fascinating” and that he would look into it. . . .
Now that Lehrer is unavailable, maybe Gladwell or someone else could do a story on this, perhaps centering the story on a current hero-figure such as Ioannidis or Simonsohn. That could work, I think.