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Science vs. Scruples

richlnrichln Posts: 811Member Member Posts: 811Member Member
I am troubled today to learn about some very disturbing accusations against one of the most influential figures in the fitness and nutrition industry: Alan Aragon.
https://deadspin.com/how-celebrity-nutritionist-alan-aragon-used-his-status-1828684798
This is a person that has contributed greatly to the field by championing a scientific approach that relies on evidence-based information and objective reasoning in an industry that is flooded with charlatans and snake-oil salesman.

Alan will likely face a major personal downfall over this, but no doubt he will eventually continue to produce valuable science to the field. Is it moral to contribute to an immoral person's financial gain by subscribing to their research reviews, reading their scientific papers, attending their speaking events, following them on social media, etc.? Should their professional insight be shunned so that knowledge is intentionally suppressed due to personal moral objection?
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Replies

  • richlnrichln Posts: 811Member Member Posts: 811Member Member
    A bit of background context... Aragon sells his expert opinion in his research reviews, speaking engagements, and I would also guess he makes some significant advertising money. He has also produced some relatively famous peer-reviewed literature regarding protein timing, bodybuilding contest prep nutrition, and BCAA supplementation. These journal publications contribute to his credentials and therefore his earning potential.

    If his career is now destroyed because of his behavior, we may never get anything new from him.
  • AnvilHeadAnvilHead Posts: 17,625Member Member Posts: 17,625Member Member
    mmapags wrote: »
    ...He will certainly pay a price for his issues but, for me personally, it is hate the wrong but forgive the wrongdoer. But that only applies if the wrongdoer admits his wrong, seeks forgiveness and does anything in their power to make the situation right and repair the damage they caused.

    Well said. Agree 100%.
  • mmapagsmmapags Posts: 7,040Member Member Posts: 7,040Member Member
    richln wrote: »
    A bit of background context... Aragon sells his expert opinion in his research reviews, speaking engagements, and I would also guess he makes some significant advertising money. He has also produced some relatively famous peer-reviewed literature regarding protein timing, bodybuilding contest prep nutrition, and BCAA supplementation. These journal publications contribute to his credentials and therefore his earning potential.

    If his career is now destroyed because of his behavior, we may never get anything new from him.
    His peer-reviewed scientific pubs & credentials will continue to be what they are: science.

    The body of scientific knowledge is full of things learned in ways now considered immoral. Mengele and Tuskeegee are among the most infamous, but there's plenty of other examples out there. The knowledge stands.

    As for research published by people who've done things that some other people have sometimes considered immoral, I think that covers all research ever done by human beings. Look at Galileo vs. the Inquisition.

    If the research is worthwhile, it will be done by somebody. The church stopped Galileo, but it didn't stop others from working out planetary orbits and the physics involved.

    However -

    This guy's expert opinion is his opinion, and if you're paying for that, you're paying him. If you're buying the stuff he advertises, you're paying him.

    IMO, once you know that he's behaved in ways you find unacceptable, whether you can give the guy your money without wanting to vomit is a matter of your own morality.

    Just by way of clarification, as far as I know, he has never advertised or endorsed a product. He's spoken at length about this. He always felt it would compromise his objectivity as a researcher. If I recall correctly, he has a pay site in the past. I think it was called Research Review. I have no problem with his desire to monetize his work efforts. I believe he no longer has that site. But we all have to make a living. He also does personal training to elite athletes and celebrities. I think he was making a fine living prior to this issue coming to light.
  • jgnatcajgnatca Posts: 14,084Member Member Posts: 14,084Member Member
    I wouldn't use Mengele as an example of "ends justifying means". His experiments weren't scrupulous enough to be meaningful. To prepare for this response, I read up on Mengele on wiki. I find it peculiarly satisfying that his bones are stored in a medical school and are brought out as educational aids for future doctors.
  • richlnrichln Posts: 811Member Member Posts: 811Member Member
    ...
    Moreover, he was a Nazi, making me the first to mention Nazis on this thread; and thus, in accordance with the corollary to Godwin's law, causing me to have forfeited the debate. :|

    No worries :smile: Aaron mentioned Hitler in the first reply. Was inevitable for this topic I think.
    edited September 13
  • jjpptt2jjpptt2 Posts: 3,399Member Member Posts: 3,399Member Member
    smolmaus wrote: »
    If I bring my company into disrepute by my actions I lose my job. That could be as small as posting the wrong thing on social media.

    What if those same actions have no impact on the company or their reputation? Will you still lose your job? Should you?

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