In the popular imagination, the work of scientists is marked by a series of "Eureka!" moments. But most science is not about glorious flashes of insight. Instead, its humble aim is to be less wrong about the theories that govern our understanding of the universe.
The best way to judge new theories, then, is the old adage of "trust, but verify." In recent decades, however, this simple advice has been ignored thanks to perverse incentives and human biases.
The amount of funding available to scientific research hasn't kept up with the growing number of scientists in training. To get a bite of the funding pie, many scientists have been led astray. How many? Witness the ten-fold rise in the number of retractions issues in scientific literature, nearly half of which may be the result of fraud. – Quartz, Aug. 28, 2015