Is Science Dead?

Dr Laura Helmuth
The Need for Clear, Trustworthy, Updated Science Communication During the Pandemic

Misinformation about COVID-19 is literally killing people. Science reporters are struggling to cover the quickly moving story of the pandemic and new science about the immune response, public health measures, how the virus spreads, and vaccine developments. They’re also competing for people’s attention against conspiracy theories, xenophobia, and fear. Here’s what science journalists have learned in this year and how everyone can help amplify sense over nonsense.

Prof Stephen Allan Burns
Ethics and bias in peer review

The pressures for scientists to publish large numbers of papers in high impact journals, has led to growing concerns about the reliability and accuracy of the scientific literature. At OSA we have a subcommittee of the Board of Editors which deals with ethical issues related to our published papers. In this presentation we will discuss the types of misconduct encountered, as well as how these are dealt with by the journals.

Dr Elisabeth Bik
The Dark Side of Science: Misconduct in Biomedical Research

Science builds upon science. Even after peer-review and publication, science papers could still contain images or other data of concern. If not addressed post-publication, papers containing incorrect or even falsified data could lead to wasted time and money spent by other researchers trying to reproduce those results. Elisabeth Bik is an image forensics detective who left her paid job in industry to search for and report duplicated and manipulated images in biomedical articles. She has done a systematic scan of 20,000 papers in 40 journals and found that about 4% of these contained inappropriately duplicated images. In her talk she will present her work and show several types of inappropriately duplicated images.