Monday, June 22, 2015

Something is rotten in the world of science.

While many still hold blind faith in science as a system and its pontifications, there are also many who have long been aware of the deep and dangerous flaws in science, particularly where medicine is involved, and who have been asking questions and demanding accountability.
It is therefore heartening to see increasingly, medical and scientific professionals saying the same thing and validating those who have little or no faith in science as a system and who perceive its increasing danger to human health and the natural world.
Science has become the same sort of 'monster' it decries religion for being where dogma and what amounts to theological belief drive the system in the name of profit - financial, professional and in terms of power and at a cost to humanity, particularly where it is applied to medicine.
Quote: nor any other participant must be revealed.
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the Lancet, attended the meeting and wrote a memorable account in the journal (April 11th), illustrated by the following quote: “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put it, ‘poor methods get results’ . . .
“The apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of ‘significance’ pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale. We reject important confirmations. Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics, such as high-impact publication . . . and individual scientists, including their most senior leaders, do little to alter a research culture that occasionally veers close to misconduct.”

The modern world depends on science, but as much as half of the literature may not be fit for purpose


Post a Comment

<< Home