In one of the most read and controversial posts in this blog, What science says about human life, which had 92 comments in its Spanish version (so far the blog record), I explained how, for purely ideological reasons, supporters of abortion close the eyes to what science says, which asserts clearly (and has done so for a century and a half) that the life of every human being begins in the fertilization of the ovum by the sperm. Faced with this, abortionists insist on making false statements like these: a fetus is only a part of the mother’s body; a fetus is not a human being; a fetus is nothing but a set of cells (so what are the abortionists?).
|A cover of The Lancet|
Denouncing one more step towards the ideological control of scientific research, the British journal The Lancet, second in impact factor in the field of Medicine, has published an article accusing certain abortion NGOs and the government of the United Kingdom of interference in scientific research.
The scientists signing the article are part of a team working for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which undertook the evaluation of a project aimed at reducing deaths due to unwanted pregnancies in 14 countries in Africa and Asia (i.e. the number of deaths caused by induced abortions). The project, which was allocated £140 million in funding, was sponsored by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) and carried out by two major NGOs working on international reproductive health (an euphemism hiding the word abortion, although those organizations don’t hide it in their websites).
The problem arose when the results of the evaluation made by the university team annoyed the two abortion NGOs, who using pressure and threats managed to prevent the publication of a series of scientific articles detailing the results of the evaluation, after those papers had been accepted by magazines in the field. Faced with protests and accusations from the two NGOs, the university opened an investigation about the work of the evaluation team, which concluded that the team had worked correctly, although they were ordered to keep anonymity about the participation of the two large abortion NGOs and the countries where they had worked, which in practice gave these companies the power to decide which research results could be published and which could not.
The team appealed the decision, for it amounted to establishing censorship by the abortion NGOs on the results of their research, but the DFID (a department of the United Kingdom government) dismissed their appeal. Subsequently, they were allowed to publish a single article, but there are still many results that have not been made public, which has led two of the researchers to write the complaint article in The Lancet.
The authors point out that this is not just their case: many other researchers find themselves in the same situation when the results of their work collide with the dominant ideology. Let’s look at their own words:
Numerous colleagues have described similar forms of interference at different stages of the research process, resulting in “tick-box evaluation” designed to please donors, reports that have been “shelved” or “embargoed”, and “bartering” about which findings can be published. Often such interference is couched in the language of ethics; other times donors and their implementing partners attack the rigour of research methods or discredit researchers’ interpretations as “naive” to pressure them to suppress findings and analyses that cast programmatic strategies or outcomes in unfavourable light.
In another paragraph they say the following:
Censorship is a strong word. But what else can you call it when a donor that commissions a research-based evaluation of one of its major global health programmes instructs the researchers to omit important results from their final report? Or puts pressure on them to change the tenor of their conclusions? Or when a staff member of an implementing partner that is being evaluated threatens the reputation of the researchers and their university if they publish negative findings?
These paragraphs speak for themselves.
The same post in Spanish
Thematic Thread on Science in General: Previous Next
Thematic Thread on Politics and Economy: Previous Next