Here’s a great article on Federal funding-induced bias in science.
I’ve been harping on this for years. Any scientific study that is funded by the government will be biased in their results to make the “customer” happy and continue to get the funding needed to continue their studies, regardless of the science involved, there will be a bias that leans towards the answer that the policy makers in question are looking for.
A prime example of this is global warming. The pile on mentality, and the bias needed to continue to receive funding from the government cannot be denied.
The purpose of this report is to provide a framework for doing research on the problem of bias in science, especially bias induced by Federal funding of research. In recent years the issue of bias in science has come under increasing scrutiny, including within the scientific community. Much of this scrutiny is focused on the potential for bias induced by the commercial funding of research. However, relatively little attention has been given to the potential role of Federal funding in fostering bias. The research question is clear: does biased funding skew research in a preferred direction, one that supports an agency mission, policy or paradigm?
Federal agencies spend many billion dollars a year on scientific research. Most of this is directly tied to the funding agency mission and existing policies. The issue is whether these financial ties lead to bias in favor of the existing policies, as well as to promoting new policies. Is the government buying science or support?
Our working definition of “funding-induced bias” is any scientific activity where the prospect of funding influences the result in a way that benefits the funder.
While the basic concept of funding-induced bias is simple, the potential forms that this bias might take are far from simple. Science is a complex social system and funding is a major driver. In order to facilitate research into Federal funding and bias it is necessary to isolate specific kinds of bias. Thus the framework presented here is a taxonomy of funding-induced bias.