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 Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>