Recent things that have come up provided the motivation for the next three blogs:
- The published ahead of print Parchmann and McBride FMS article
- The recent interaction between Dr. Mike Stone and Mike Boyle
- The University of Oklahoma exercise science professor(s) accused of questionable practice in research
#3. My last two post have really focused on the need for proper evidence for the things we do. Formal research in a university environment is a big part of this. It is important, however, to consider that not all research is good research. Along with the study design, the way that it is done, how subjects are treated, and the ethics involved are vitally important. Check out the video below and the associated news article.
Predictably, the TV news report focuses on all the wrong things - the seemingly brutal biopsy procedures shown on video. Yes the bruising from the biopsy does seem excessive, and other practices could be criticized, but the REAL issue here is to do with the accusations of falsifying results and conflicts of interest.
The professor in question has been influential within the NSCA for a while. The gentleman who has "left for Florida" is of even greater stature. Controversy like this is bad in any instance, but such high profile people involved makes it even worse. Sidenote on this - during the awards part of the banquet at this year's NSCA National Conference, an outsider at our table commented on the number of research awards Oklahoma were winning (all of them I think - as previously noted). Just an observation.
The accuracy of the claims regarding the conflicts of interest and falsification of results may well still be under investigation. I have not seen an update on it since this November 1st report. What is certain is that there are obviously bad feelings on the side of the graduate students at Oklahoma. It must have taken a lot of things to build up to result in such a person(s) going to the university administration and press. This is not good for these young people's careers either.
We may never know everything that went on - but this is a warning to all of us to treat the people we work with well, and fully involve them in the research process. Yes, sometimes graduate students will be used as subjects or for practice. This is fine if things are done well and professionally.