Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Organization’s reputation wields hefty influence: Scientist

12.11.2002


The reputation of an organization can convince scientists of the value of the research it produces even when there is no supporting data, says a University of Toronto geologist.



Professors Andrew Miall of U of T’s geology department and Charlene Miall of sociology at McMaster University have found that reputation alone can significantly influence the legitimacy placed on scientific results produced by an organization. The researchers have named this phenomenon the Exxon factor - in the 1970s a scientist from Exxon proposed a model for oil exploration that was accepted at face value in the scientific community without any data or critical analysis. "Everyone just assumed that, because it was Exxon, the model had to be right even though no one had seen any proof," Andrew Miall says.

In their study, the researchers conducted interviews with company insiders and other scientists engaged in petroleum research and tracked the acceptance processes accompanying the release of the model in academic journals and petroleum research publications. Their findings showed a propensity on the part of scientists to unquestioningly accept the Exxon research on the basis of the company’s reputation and large-scale research facilities without demanding supporting data. "Paradoxically," Andrew Miall says, "the model itself was not accepted inside Exxon until it was accepted by outside academics and industry geologists."


These findings have important implications for government policies, as agencies approving new products for public consumption may be influenced by a company’s reputation and funding rather than by the validity of the research in scientific terms, say the authors. "The Exxon factor shows that reputations can carry weight over empirical data."


CONTACT: Professor Andrew Miall, Department of Geology, 416-978-8841, miall@quartz.geology.utoronto.camiall@quartz.geology.utoronto.ca or Lanna Crucefix, U of T public affairs, 416-978-0260, lanna.crucefix@utoronto.ca


Lanna Crucefix | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>