Blowing the whistle pays & why we need it in scientific fields

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We update the latest 2019 US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) data on whistleblowing. As we have noted previously, the number of people to come forward with allegations has exploded since the introduction of legislation to protest the whistleblower.


Although the 2019 number is mildly down year on year, the sums paid out by the SEC approached $387 million, 26x the 2013 sum.


Not all claims end up in a result but the payouts average well into the millions.


We have long advocated a similar whistleblower system be introduced into the scientific community to ensure that taxpayers can adequately stop any fraudulent behaviour that may arise from data manipulation.

The entire Apollo project cost $200bn to implement and get a man on the moon. In climate science, we are allocating twice that amount every year into research. Do we honestly believe that there aren’t bad apples out there? Surely the best way to clean the marketplace is to make sure fraud is punished in so we can make more sensible investments based on more reliable data. At the moment, anything goes. The more alarmist, the more likely research grants will fall that way.

It seems to be working in finance and the sums in climate science seem no less trivial.

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