non-dairy milk taste tests

Silk soy original – original taste is slightly bitter ends with a finish like ice cream

Silk unsweetened cashew – rich thick creamy texture with a faint cashew aftertaste.

Pacific foods hazelnut – finishes with a STRONG bitter hazelnut taste. Thought this would make a good chocolate hazelnut pudding, but the bitter aftertaste was a bit too strong. Need to find a way to temper it

Tempt hemp milk – claims to be unsweetened, but has vanilla. neutral taste but with a finish of amaretto.

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What is the most inspiring setting you’ve ever visited in real life?

I remember the day I watched the sunrise from the top of Mt Evans.

My grandparents had passed away a few weeks before and at their request we were supposed to take a trip to Colorado to spread their ashes. It was a strange trip. My mother, uncle, brother and I traveled from our respective states and met in the Denver airport. It was just two weeks after I had the chemical accident which still scars my leg, but I was there with packs of gauze, a tub of silver sulfadine, and an open wound from my knee to my ankle.

We drove around the mountains together looking at wildflowers and old ghost towns while I hobbled around on a cane. At each stop were brought out about my grandfather’s obsession with ghost towns and the old west. There were tales about my grandmother’s poetry and oil paintings from memory.

The trip was supposed to culminate at the top of Mount Evans. We drove up the winding road to the top and parked. My brother helped me to a small rocky outcrop where my grandmother had once had her picture taken. Lighting flashed in the distance. A single beam of sunlight fell on my mother. When my mother said a few words of remembrance, a few drops of rain fell on her. Then the wind changed and covered her with ash. We all laughed. That is how my grandparents would have wanted it. One last laugh.

For me the most amazing part was the next morning. My uncle is a photographer and wanted to catch the sunrise. The two of us rose at 4am to drive up to the top once more. This time I wasn’t in search of closure. I was looking for something else, but I could not tell you what.

I drank hot coffee as we wound up the mountain piled in out warmest coats. When we stepped out, the wind howled over the mountain. I sat on a bench while my uncle set up his cameras. We waited in silence.

The whole world grew brighter as one by one the stars disappeared from the sky. One instant the sky was a deep shade of blue and the next it exploded into light.

Sometimes I wish I could find a way to put that feeling into a story. Other times I am glad I cannot. For me, some things are too personal to turn into fiction.  Maybe that’s why I’ve only published a few short stories. I don’t know.

I just know that is one of those moments I carry with me.

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writing contests

Agent John Cusick is having a microsynopsis contest.

If you think you can entice him to read your book with a 3 sentence query, please go to this page and upload something.

http://yatopia.blogspot.com/2011/08/huge-micro-synopsis-contest-with-agent.html?spref=tw

Manuscripts must be submission ready.

Be quick. Contest closes midnight on August 11th.

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A brief review of autism and treatment possibilities

Below is the paper I wrote for my human development class. References are in APA style so (Person’s last name, date of publication) are included with a list of references at the end. It’s a bit long. If anyone reads it, please feel free to add comments

Abstract

A brief review of autism: prevalence, symptoms and methods of diagnosing. The paper reviews standard treatments and how those are being impacted by current technology. Finally the paper discusses new avenues of technology research that could impact autism treatment and managing care for those with autism.

Table of contents

  1. Overview of autism
    1. Prevalence
    2. Definition of autism
    3. Theories about the causes of autism
    4. Detection methods and tests for autism
    5. Autism Treatments
      1. Therapy
      2. Most common drugs
      3. Technology and Autism Treatment
        1. Current Computer Usage
        2. Research into Autism Treatments
        3. Conclusions
        4. References

Brief overview of Autism

Prevalence

Autism has been in the news a lot lately. Ten years ago the American Psychiatry Association (APA) indicated that 5 in 10,000 people had autism. That number has climbed dramatically. The center for disease control website estimates that 1 in 110 children in the US have Autism.(APA, 2000) A more recent article in Time magazine estimated that the rates of Autism in South Korea are 1 in 38. (Walsh, 2011) These numbers are alarming. Something must be done. This paper attempts to address some of the ways people are using technology and psychiatry to diagnose and treat this condition.

Definition of Autism

            First let’s look at what Autism is. The APA classifies Autism as a pervasive developmental disorder.(APA, 2000)  This does not mean that Autism affects every development area. It means that Autism cannot be described by a single set of symptoms that can be addressed in a simple way such as an overly loud voice. Autism Disorders have both impaired development in social interactions and communication with a restricted number of activities and interests. (APA, 2000) In each child, this is demonstrated in different ways requiring that treatment be tuned to fit that particular child’s needs.

            Typical impairments include lack of eye contact, lack of facial expressions, and limited gestures. Children often fail to develop peer relationships and don’t seem to understand social interactions. They often do not seek to share experiences in normal ways like pointing to something they find interesting or playing games. Many do not seem to be aware of others. (APA, 2000)

            While the impairments listed above often show up first, often people are more likely to understand there is a problem when it affects speech. Often autistic children are slow in developing spoken language. Sometimes they learn works but use them in inappropriate ways such as repeating the same word over and over. While many young children might repeat words, autism is usually characterized by a lack of engagement. A child might say “hi” fifteen times in a row to get a response whereas an autistic child will say a word for their own enjoyment without caring if others respond. Unlike the normal child who understands “hi” is a greeting, the autistic child doesn’t seem to indicate they understand the meaning of the word. (APA, 2000) 

            A diagnosis of autism is not achieved by any one of these traits alone. It requires demonstration of at least six traits out of a list of over thirteen. (APA, 2000) It makes one wonder what one root cause can cause such a wide variety of symptoms in individuals. Early psychoanalytical models talked about the “refrigerator mom” who withheld attention causing the child to withdraw. This was shown to be a myth.( Cipani, 2008) A member of the medical community talked about a link to vaccines stating that children had an adverse reaction to something in the shots, but that was also shown to be false. (Dawson, 2001)

Theories about the Causes of Autism

Recent theories focus more on the genetic and environmental factors. Scientists looking for genetic markers point to copy errors as the source. Each time a cell divides, it creates a copy of the genetic material it contains. This copy helps guide the new cell to function correctly. Sometimes a mistake is made and genes are replaced by junk. When this happens to children, this error can multiply and dramatically affect development. If this happens in a non-critical part of the genetic code, we may never know about it. In autistic children, they find problems with genes associated with speech, communication and brain development.( Pinto et al. 2010)

The genetic component gives us one clue, but there are others. The book Neurology of Autism notes that children with autism go through a faster than normal growth spurt in head size. They suggest that this causes a high volume of neurons that are misconnected.( Coleman, 2005) In normal brain development, unused or faulty neural connections are removed (Berger, 2008), but for some reason this doesn’t happen in autistic children. This leads to a chaotic interpretation of the world where one small aspect of life overshadows everything else.

Scientists have noted that the worst damage appears to be in the mirror neurons. If you were to map a player’s brain when he makes the winning goal, it would show a pattern. If we map a fan’s brain while watching the winning goal, their brain would show a similar pattern. When watching the player, the fan’s mirror neurons kick in. They stimulate the brain of that sports fan to give him or her the same kind of pleasure that the player gets when he or she scores the goal. It’s the same thing when someone watches a movie. If you watch a movie where the main characters live happily ever after, you feel good if you connected with those characters. The mirror neurons help you connect with characters so you can feel a bit of what they feel. However, in autistic people this mirror network doesn’t work. When they watch the game or the movie, they don’t really feel anything. (Oberman, 2006)

One potential reason for this is epilepsy. Epilepsy is like an electrical storm in the brain. If a child has epileptic fits as an infant, a parent may not even know. It could disrupt the neural connections and interrupt the mirror neurons. (Oberman, 2006) Unfortunately, none of these theories gives an effective way to prevent autism. It means parents have kids and hope for the best. If they have a child with autism, they are left with the difficult path of detection and treatment.

Detection of Autism

            The standard test for autism is an observation test or a parent teacher questionnaire. In the observation test, a child sits in a room behind mirrored glass and is observed for a set period of time. Ideally this should be done as early as possible because the best outcomes start with early treatment. (Cipani, 2008) Unfortunately, a number of the characteristic signs of autism are difficult to detect until after a child is over 2 years old, like delayed speech. While the average child begins learning words around their first birthday, there are many who wait a few months beyond that. This symptom alone can also be caused by other sources such as deafness. When learning to speak words, many children repeat certain phrases or words and it may be difficult to determine if they really understand the meaning behind the words.

            There are a number of early predictors of autism. Normal babies make eye contact often staring into their parent’s eyes for long periods of time while feeding.  This is part of the bonding process. Infants also begin displaying shared attention at an early age. This means they point out things that they want an adult to look at and will look when an adult points out something. Both of these traits are often missing in autistic children. (Toth et al. 2006) Another early predictor is facial expression. From an early age, infants will imitate facial expressions of their parents or other caretakers. Autistic children do not imitate. (Toth et al. 2006) This also manifests in the ways children play. Normal children will engage in symbolic play. For example, they will pretend to drink from an empty cup then give a teddy bear a drink from the cup. (Toth et al. 2006) When they do this, they are imitating the behavior of the adults they see around them.

            These behaviors correlate will with later language development but do not help much. Detection at an early age relies on parental screening and many parents do not know these early predictors. Even if they did recognize them, detection is highly labor intensive, which may not be feasible for working families. This is where robots may help. Researchers are working on a program called LENA or Language Environment Analysis. This system analyzes audio recordings made in a child’s home environment and analyzes them for language traits of autism. (Xu et al. 2009) So far the initial findings look good.

Autism Treatments

Therapeutic treatments

            Most of the research has been done in treatment instead of detection. Standard autism treatments fall into two major categories: one on one therapy and drugs. The two most common and effect therapies are Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and Training and Education of Autistic and other Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH). ABA starts with an analysis of a child’s behavior. A set of goals are laid out such as making eye contact. In highly structured one on one sessions with a therapist, the child is rewarded every time they do the desired behavior, like getting a sticker every time they make eye contact. The rewards are chosen to match a specific child’s preference so if a child is intensely interested in a specific doll instead of a sticker. They might use a doll or another object as the “reward.” Once this skill is mastered, the child is weaned off of rewards for that behavior. Another skill is chosen. Now instead of getting stickers for eye contact, the child might get rewards for looking when an adult points something out or some other target skill. This process is used to slowly expand a child’s set of social behaviors and skills until they match more closely normal behavior. At the same time, they also engage in similar sessions to encourage language use. (Cipani, 2008)

            TEACCH is similar in that it starts with an individual assessment, but interactions are more likely to be in a group setting within a classroom of other autistic children. Children may still get individual instruction, but also get more interactions in a group. The environment is modified to provide different kinds if stimulus to the children such as lights, sounds and patterns. Items in the classroom are color coded and schedules are visually oriented to help children keep them straight.( Callahan et al. 2010)

            Both require support and interaction from the family. Both create individualized programs centered around a child’s special needs. ABA tends to have more one on one structured interactions whereas TEACCH may involve more group interactions depending on what the child needs. Both constantly monitor the child’s progress and adjust the program to ensure the child makes progress towards his or her goals.

Which method is better? Unfortunately there is no robust research indicating one is better than the other. Researchers at the University of North Texas analyzed both with the help of autism specialists. They came to the conclusion that both are equally valid. The traits they have in common were the treatment therapies that were the most important.  The researchers actually suggested combining the two approaches might be more effective than either one alone. Mostly they concluded that more objective research needs to be done. (Malone et al. 2005) The problem is that any therapy solutions are highly intensive and involve a lot of personal interaction.

Drug Treatments

Drug treatment seems like an easier route, but care must be taken to understand the desired outcome and the possible dangers. The drugs used fall into a number of categories. The three most common are antipsychotics, stimulants, and antidepressants. Antipsychotics tend to be proscribed to address some of the ways autistic children act. They tend to result in a reduction of tantrums, aggression, and less injurious behavior. The mildest of these drugs can have more minor side effects: weight gain, fatigue, drowsiness, dizziness and drooling. Some of the more extreme have side effects that can lead to death. (Malone et al. 2005)

Antidepressants seem to help with compulsive repetitive behavior, like saying the same word over and over again or insisting on specific rituals. Side effects can include rapid or irregular heart rate, constipation, agitation, increased risk of suicide, and seizures. Not all autism patients will experience side effects.

Stimulants tend to help with hyperactivity and attention span. Side effects can include weight loss, increased social withdrawal. (SZE, 2008) None of these drugs offers a cure for autism. At best they help alleviate some of the most disruptive symptoms. They can help a family deal with an autistic child, but require the child to remain on drugs for an extended period of time. In contrast, some cases treated with ABA or TEACCH have gone on to lead normal productive lives with little indication that they were once diagnosed as autistic.(Cipani 2008)

Technology and Autism Treatment

Current Computer Usage

As a result, a lot of attention is being turned towards computers and technology. Computers and robot intervention could have results similar to the intense therapy options without requiring the additional funding year after year to support progress. The initial investment might be large, but computer aided interventions could mean that more children get the support they need instead of the lucky few who happen to live near an autism center.

Current computer technology focuses on equalizing opportunity and helping children with disabilities communicate with others. Electronic reading machines, portable reading pens, and instructional software help with reading. For help with learning communication skills, there is speech synthesis software, and word queuing and prediction program. One could also use speech recognition software to aid in language skills. (SZE, 2008) Some autistic individuals communicate using a computer because it is less intimidating than talking to a person. They can either communicate through chat rooms and IM or use IPADs to speak for them using speech software. These applications are available now, but like drugs, sometimes appear to treat the symptoms instead of helping the child achieve the best outcome, integration into society.

Research into Autism Treatments

Research is focused on this outcome. How do we best use computers and technology to provide the one on one educational support that can help transition autistic children into adults that reach their full potential. One example is being tested in Italy.  There they are testing an android with a human face to help teach the facial expressions that communicate emotional states. People with autism are known for having difficulty inferring and analyzing emotional states both in themselves and others. They call this robot FACE for Facial Automation for Conveying Emotions. (Mazzei, 2010) According to the book, The Relationship Theory of Love, people learn by mapping information over a group of neurons in the brain. Many of these pathways are created in our childhood and get stronger as we learn more. Unfortunately, if we do not learn to distinguish between two things like how to pronounce an r versus an l, it becomes more and more difficult to notice the difference as we get older. (Amini and Lannon 2000)

Autistic children do not learn some of the subtle facial expressions that communicate feeling. As they grow older, it can become remain difficult for them to pick up on the queues that indicate someone is angry or sad. Foreign language speakers can learn the difference between r and l by listening repeatedly to tapes that highlight the difference between these two sounds. (Wu, Li, F. and Lu, N. 2010) The FACE system does the same with facial expressions. Autistic individuals can interact with the android, which expresses one of six emotional states. In addition, cameras in the eyes can be used to track the autistic person’s face like a real person would. Researchers are working to enhance their 3D modeling to improve both the number of emotional states that the android can mimic and improve the quality of the facial expressions. (Amini and Lannon 2000) Techniques like this promise to help even adults with autism begin to unlock some of the keys to social interactions.

Another promising direction of research is into virtual communities. In South Korea, they are using virtual communities with therapists to allow autistic children to experiment with social interactions and learn appropriate behavior. It’s like using half-life to learn to live in the real world instead of using it to escape. (Wu, Li, F. and Lu, N. 2010)

Other research works to predict autistic behavior patterns like biting, or screaming by looking for an increase in minor movements. The autistic individual has wearable sensors that detect movement. The intensity that person’s movement is recorded and analyzed using a complex computer algorithm. An increase in certain types of movement happens right before an individual is about to have an episode. (Min and Tewfik, 2010) For children, this data could be used to help teach self-soothing. For example, if a teacher knows that a child is about to have an episode, that teacher could recommend an activity that specifically helps that child. It might be some time alone in a quiet place or some other reward the child finds soothing. For adults, it might help reduce the amount of medication used to help them live a fuller life. No matter what the age of the person involved, prediction of autistic behavior patterns can help a therapist in target therapy for that individual.

            Along this line, there are several researchers that are using computers to help children monitor their own behavior. When autistic individuals monitor their own behavior, it increases the number of tasks that get done and increases verbal communication. It has also been shown to reduce tantrums, screaming and self destructive behavior. (Soares, Vannest, and Harrison 2009) Self monitoring in this case involves keeping track of tasks completed without undesired behavior. For example, a child gets to put a sticker on a board whenever a task is completed without undesired behavior or a child gets one sticker for completing a task and two for completing it without undesired behavior. (Soares, Vannest, and Harrison 2009)

Computer technology is not required for this kind of self monitoring, but can help. In one study, they used a computer generated checklist. Once the child filled it out, the child obtained a sticker to put on his monitor board. He received a sticker every time the task was complete and the sticker itself served to remind him of the desired behavior. His reward for good behavior was to play with a giant Mickey Mouse and the stickers were Mickey Mouse stickers. Because the self monitoring was prompted by the computer, the individual modified his behavior with minimal interaction from the teacher. (Soares, Vannest, and Harrison 2009)

Conclusions

Autism is a complicated problem. Each individual shows different symptoms and needs some kind of specialized treatment. Rates of autism seem to be increasing making this problem more difficult with time. We do not know what causes autism. We only know that it affects the brain function and learning. Intense therapeutic interventions have been used to allow a few children to lead normal lives, but most remain mentally challenged for life. Drugs affect symptoms allowing families to deal with an autistic person more easily, but require a person to continue taking them to maintain the results. Computer technology has been used to detect autism and act as aids helping an autistic people communicate and learn language skills. More recent research seeks to augment therapy in new and different ways: teaching self monitoring, helping autistic people understand facial expressions, predicting when autistic people will have an episode and training them how to deal with social interactions. More research needs to be done both into the causes of autism and more effective ways to treat it.

References

  1. CDC (2011)Autism Spectrum Disorders: Data and Statistics. CDC Website, retrieved from www.CDC.gov/mmwr.
  2. American Psychiatric Association: (2000) 307.9 Communication Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV-TR 4th edition. Washington, DC : American Psychiatric Association 69-75.
  3. Amini, F., Lannon, R. (2000) A general Theory of love. New York, NY: Random House
  4. Berger, K. S. (2008). Children with Special Needs. In Weiss (Eds.), The Developing Person: Through the Life Span. (pp 299-301). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
  5. Callahan, K., Shukla-Mehta, S., Magee, S., Wie, M. (2010). ABA Versus TEACCH: The Case for Defining and Validating Comprehensive Treatment Models in Autism. J Autism Dev. Disord. (40), 74-88.
  6. Cipani, E. (2008). Triumphs in early autism treatment. [Springer Pub. Co.] call number: RJ506.A9T78 2008eb
  7. Coleman, M. (2005). Neurology of autism. Cary, NC. Oxford University Press.
  8. Dawson, G. (2001). The Search for autism’s roots.  Nature. 441. 882-84.
  9. Malone, R. P., Gratz, S. S., Delaney, M. A., Hyman, S. B. (2005). Advances in Drug Treatments for Children and Adolescents with Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders. CNS Drugs, 19(11), 923-934.
  10. Mazzei, D., Billeci, L., Armato, A., Lazzeri, N., Cisternino, A., Pioggia, G., Igliozzi, R., Muratori, F., Ahluwalia, A., De Rossi, D. (2010) The FACE of Autism. 19th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication. 791-796.
  11. Min, C-H., Tewfik, A.H.  (2010) Novel pattern detection in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder using Iterative Subspace Identification 2010 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP) 2266-9. Doi 10.1109/ICASSP.2010.5495885
  12. Oberman, L. (2006) Broken Mirrors. Scientific American, 295(5), 62-69.
  13. Pinto, D., Pagnamenta, A. T., Klei, L., Anney, R., Merico, D., Regan, R., Conroy, J., Magalhaes, T. R., Correia,  C., Abrahams, B. S., Almeida, J. Bacchelli, E. Bader, G. D., Bailey, A. J., Baird, G., Battaglia, A., Berney, T., Bolshakova, N., Bölte, S., Bolton, P. F., Bourgeron, T., Brennan, S., Brian, J., Bryson, S. E., Carson, A. R. (2010) Functional impact of global rare copy number variation in autism spectrum disorders. Nature, 466(7304), 368-372.
  14. Soares, D. A., Vannest, K. J., Harrison, J. (2009) Computer aided self –monitoring to increase academic production and reduce self-injurious behavior in a child with autism, Behavioral Interventions. 24, 171-183.
  15. Sze, S. (2008-9) The effects of assistive technology on students with disabilities, J. Educational Technology systems. 37(4), 419-429.
  16. Toth, K., Munson, J., Meltzoff, A. N., Dawson, G., (2006) Early Predictors of Communication Development in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders., 36(8), p993-1005.
  17. Walsh, B. (2011) Not So Rare. Time. 177(21), 20.
  18. Wu, J., Li, F., Lu, N. (2010) Research into the Treatment of Autism using virtual communities. 2010 6th International Conference on Networked Computing (INC), 337-342.
  19. Xu, D., Gilkerson, J., Richers, J., Yspanel, U., Gray, S. (2009) Child Vocalization Composition as Discriminant Information for Automatic Autism Detection. 31st Annual International Conference of the IEEE EMBS. 2518-22.
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political example or character in a novel

For a while now I have been toying around with the concept of classifying people. It started when president Obama came to our town and talked at my workplace. My in-laws suggested that I try to meet him. Maybe I could become one of those people that he talks about on the campaign trail like Joe the plumber. My response at the time was that I was closer to a character in a novel than I was to a political example.

Since then, I have put more thought into this. What makes a person a good political example and what makes a person a good character in a novel. Political examples need to be easily summed up and identifiable. We should easily be able to relate to them and see them as caricatures of American ideas.

On the other hand, novel characters need to have quirks and traits that are not easily summed up. They need to live and breathe without easily being summed up. Anyone who sums up Harry Potter as the boy who lived misses a great deal of the story. If he had only been that small sound bite, J.K Rowling would be a lot poorer.

Unfortunately, novel characters also tend to have pretty crappy lives. Things are always going wrong. There are too many mysteries to be solved. Their loved ones are in danger or their romantic lives are twisted into tiny little knots. If their lives were not a little twisted, it would be no fun to read about them.

Which is an easier life? If I had to chose, I think I would have gone with the interesting novel character. They sound like interesting people that I would want to have as a friend sometimes. Unfortunately, my life is veering towards political example.

I am going back to school in July. I am being replaced by a person from China. All the Americans are leaving my work group and being replaced by people on H1B Visas from other countries. I feel my life being stretched into two sentence sound bite, but I can’t tell which side would take me. Do I represent the need for stronger science education or do I stand for those who are against higher volumes of H1B Visas?

I think I’ll just hide under a rock and refuse to talk to any politicians until this whole thing blows over. Maybe I can find myself a place in a nice women’s fiction book as a supportive character. Maybe I could be the best friend who helps the troubled single mom find her true love. I just have to find the right group of women.

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Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard – #bookreview

Like Mandrin is about a girl who wants to be someone else. She turns her back on the idea of beauty that comes from her mother and follows the path of a damaged girl from school. From the first few sentences of this book I was hooked. The lyrical quality of the writing perfectly fit with subject matter and helped to underscore the themes. I could see in my mind vivid images of Wyoming and it made me want to visit.

The subject was just as compelling. I remember wanting to be someone else in high school. I made up an alter ego with a full history and convinced my best friend to do the same. We passed notes, but they were between his alter ego and mine. They were as likely to be about our imaginary adventures as what was going on in school.

On top of everything else the characters were interesting. They weren’t cardboard cutouts. They seemed like real people. From the main character’s obsession with rocks to the complicated relationship with her mother, it all seemed to wring true. I couldn’t wait to turn the next page and was disappointed when the book ended.

The journey of self discovering is never easy. This book addresses it in an interesting way.

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Scientific fraud

I’ve been reading the book “Plastic Fantastic: How the biggest fraud in physics shook the scientific world” by Eugenie Samuel Reich.  From the early 90s until 2004, Jan Henrick Schön falsified data about electrical measurements on organic crystals. I picked up the book to look at scientific fraud, but find myself a little shaken. I was there. I’m pretty sure I was at the materials conference referenced in the book where he presented in Boston. I remember reading his paper about superconductivity in doped C60. His research was interesting to me as a tangent of the things I was working on. How did I read about his work and miss the fact that it was fraud?

To be fair, he was exposed after I left graduate school. By the time they realized that he used the same graph in his Nature and Science articles, I was working in industry and looking into nanoscale dual damascene copper deposition. His research was no longer an inspiration of where I could go, but a reminder of my past.

Finding out about his deception years after he was exposed, still leaves me feeling strange. It brings up several issues. How do we know who to trust? How much of what we see is what we want to see? It also has renewed relevance as I embark on a new career in education. How do I use this to show the pitfalls of cheating to students who are tempted to take the easy way out?

I thought that I could trust the scientific process, but it leaves doubts in my mind. Schön was caught because he used the same piece of falsified data in multiple papers. How long would it have taken if he had been a little smarter? One piece of the scientific process is reproducibility of data. Around the time he was caught, people started doing the same experiments and getting different results. This could have led to the same result, but it would have taken longer.

Unfortunately, until fraud is exposed, it hinders science. In the mean time there is no way to tell what is real and what is false. There is no way to determine who to trust.

I don’t know. I’ll have to think about this more.

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