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Why Do Scientists Cheat?

Science is immersed in a crisis of reproducibility, but how can science go so badly wrong? Here, an anonymous author with intimate knowledge of the academic world and its research and publishing practices addresses this question, drawing examples from his formative years in the university and ensuing professional life. Citing firsthand experiences wherein he witnessed the impact of questionable research practices, conflicts of interest, and perverse career incentives, he explains how “the very enterprise of research can deviate systematically from the paths of truth.”