Sunday, February 5, 2017

Time is Important; Facts are Sacred

I'm seriously considering elaborating my last post (The Last Lecture) into a full-length article, but time is of a concern. 

Nowadays, I rarely had time to do any extra reading on subjects related to my work, let alone putting down a complete write-up of a farewell speech, even though its message was overwhelming and its relevance was far-reaching.

For now, I'm just concentrating on my work, trying to stay on course on my work's schedule. I was given much leeway now compared to the yesteryear.

Out of boredom, I read a posting by a facebook page called PseudoScience Watch, in which they tried to expose a scam purportedly committed by a researcher.

What PseudoScience Watch intended to achieve was noble; they tried to expose the scammer. But in so doing, they inadvertently committed a grave mistake - they mixed up their facts.

First, they claimed a supervisor shall be the first writer in every journal's article, not the student. This is blatantly not true as it is a common practice for a post-graduate student to be the first author, with his or her supervisor as the corresponding author.

Second, they had the audacity to claim that only a certified medical doctor could conduct a medical-related research (P/S: This comment was made by a commentator, not admin). Visit any research institution related to medical/healthcare or any pharmaceutical company, hardly any medical doctor is stationed there. Most of the researches are conducted by chemists/biologists or even pharmacists.

Two of well-known examples are INFORMM (Institute For Research in Molecular Medicine) in USM and IPHARM (Malaysian Institute of Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals). Not even one medical doctor is currently working there, yet these two institutions are actively conducting research related to medicine/vaccine/drug.

PseudoScience Watch is a good page, but their young admins need to refrain themselves from talking about subject that they knew very little about. Facts are very sacred nowadays; once you lose your credibility, it's hard to get it back.

Correction 13/2/2017
I was made to understand that the second claim was made by a commentator, not the admin. For this, I apologise and have made necessary correction, although I left the accompanying comments for clarification purposes. 

The real comment by the admin was "only a certified medical doctor could prescribe drug to combat diseases in human body", which is factually correct.