William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Stream: Government Lab Has Been Faking Data for Years

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Today’s post (more a news report) is at The Stream: Government Lab Has Been Faking Data for Years.

A person or persons at the same US Geological Survey Lab in Lakewood, Colorado have been discovered finagling scientific results. According to a report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the US Department of Interior, the thimblerigging didn’t happen only once or twice, but in many multiple instances and over a long course of time.

In what appears to be a monumental effort at deception or malfeasance or just plain laziness, between 1996-2008 and again between 2008-2014, somebody or some bodies at the Energy Geochemistry Laboratory purposely gave out wrong results from a mass spectrometer (used to identify the chemical constituents in a sample of material)…

USGS spokeswoman Anne-Berry Wade is quoted in the Denver Post explaining why the fraud had gone on so long, especially given the lab was long under suspicion, as saying that “a new lab director took over in 2014 and decided to look into the suspicions.” Wade did not say why the previous director failed to investigate the fraud. She also refused to say if anybody was fired or even punished for any misconduct.

No criminal prosecutions are expected, either. Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Matthew Elliott told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “We conducted a limited scope inspection and, as a result, we had no material that gave us a reason to consult with a U.S. Attorney’s office.” …

More interestingly, Westerman highlighted a curious interview the IG withheld from its report. Westerman said that “a former employee linked to the manipulation” told the IG “Tell me what you want and I will get it for you. What we do is like magic.”…

Don’t be square, go there and read the rest.

5 Comments

  1. Climate data? Jobs numbers?

  2. This is not a surprise. Scientists are not pure—they are people with agendas just like everywhere else. Also, if you are an environmentalist and you want to affect policy, what better way to do it that in a government lab? Our government has indicated for at least a decade that anyone who works toward the goals of the government is exempt from prosecution. So, you can work toward proving whatever is your belief. If caught, nothing will happen. Nothing. Ask Hillary.

    Ken often complains that all of science is not tainted—yet the evidence says it most likely is gravely tainted in any area the government can possibly eek out a new regulation or use to elimate a pesky opponent. I wouldn’t be surprised to find criminal labs faking data or destroying it for the government. The days of science being used to learn new and exciting things is pretty much over. It’s a tentacle of the government now.

  3. Sometimes they lie by omission. The bureau of justice statistics stopped reporting the race of crime perpetrators because the blacks looked so bad.

  4. Steven Cornett

    July 16, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    In reply to anon:

    Yes…

    And, yes.

  5. Garbanzo Bean

    July 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    So, how do we determine which studies are affected or invalidated now, because they relied on bad data from this lab? How do we find out who paid for the “magic”?

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